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99 Problems: A Research Project

June 19, 2010

I was chatting about Jay-Z with a cousin earlier this week. She was saying she prefers Jigga’s old tracks to the new ones. “He has nothing to complain about anymore,” she pointed out, “except people who use auto-tune.” True dat. My cousin’s astute observations have been stewing in my mind since that evening, and I’m sure they inspired the idea that suddenly showed up in my mind today as a crowded bus hauled me home from an interminable class.

I got to wondering whether Jay-Z has, or has ever had, 99 problems, as per his claim in the track by the same name. Excitedly, I realized that this was no mere exercise in wistful rhetoric but a question I could get Hova to answer in his own words. Shuffling through the Jay-Z material on my iPod, I compiled–in under an hour–a list of 99 problems mentioned in his lyrics. If I possessed his full discography (or whatever the iTunes equivalent of that term is), I’m sure I could extend it to 200 with no trouble.

Here’s the list I made. I hope I included your favourites!


1. people who use auto-tune
2. bird-ass niggas
3. buffoonery
4. cops
5. grown men who think he’s Santa Claus and want to sit on his lap
6. Rush Limbaugh
7. Bill O’Reilly
8. what people be talkin’ ‘bout all the time
9. haters
10. oversize clothes
11. chains
12. niggas who keep makin’ it rain
13. Cris
14. Timbs
15. Rims
16. whatever you about to discover
17. the riddate you used to move
18. the bitches that you used to screw
19. actors lookin’ at themselves in the mirror backwards
20. anyone who ain’t rollin’ with Hov
21. sub-par ma’fuckas
22. the bastard who caused Bob’s church mass
23. amateurs
24. jive turkeys
25. these rappers who remind him of the movie “Single White Female”
26. these niggas who want him to go
27. the critics
28. the music business
29. fools who don’t listen to music but rather just skim through it
30. the teacher who said he’d be dead or be a reefer head
31. the uncle who didn’t appreciate his demo tape
32. them tellin’ him what he could not be
33. fake trappin’-ass niggas
34. bullshit
35. those who do not feel him and are therefore not real to him
36. the D.A.
37. label owners
38. the projects
39. this young chick who’s so immature
40. this African chick who was broke when he met her ass and now wants half
41.-49. other ladies with various other irritating characteristics
50. crooked policies
51. these MCs prayin’ for his downfall
52. when people say that he ain’t won
53. the Feds
54. Peruvians
55. success (it sucks: too much stress)
56. those who ask him for a portion
57. niggas actin’ like bitches with big mouths
58. niggas who said Hova was ova
59. worst enemies who want to be best friends
60. you muthafuckin’ ants
61. beotches
62. little fucks than whom he has money stacks bigger
63. Nas
64. all you other cats throwin’ shots at Jigga
65. those who say he’s a bad guy
66. those who say he’s a menace
67. Al Sharpton
68. his foes
69. y’all who lamed out and didn’t really appreciate his first joint ‘til the second one came out
70. these fucks too lazy to make up shit
71. Busta Rhymes
72. 50 Cent
73. whitey
74. Texas boys
75. Reagan
76. Oliver North
77. Iran-Contra
78. niggas who want that old shit and buy his old album
79. niggas stuck on “stupid”
80. the Jonas Brothers
81. virgins
82. a throwback jersey
83. loiterers
84. the ringtone
85. the music y’all makin’
86. all y’all who lack aggression
87. you rappers who are singing and T-Paining too much
88. the other side (they jealous)
89. the whole industry
90. young niggas
91. all you muddaskunks
92. rappers tryin’ to sound like Jay-Z
93. when your lawyer screams “Appeal” only thinkin’ ‘bout a bill
94. all rhymers with Alzheimer’s
95. all mamis with mind-freeze
96. all bloggers with comments
97. sensitive thugs
98. young fucks
99. all the fuckin’ fussin’ resulting from the fact that he’s grubbin’ more and packs heat like he’s the oven door

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    June 20, 2010 10:45 am

    Clearly there are several bitches in his life who are problems. This is a spectacular list.

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