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7. Jay-Z – 99 Problems



Or: “Hey everyone, since I started steppin’ out with my new girl, life’s tribulations seem somehow lighter”. The joyful invincibility that comes with newfound love is an intoxicating feeling – sure, life still has its twists, but suddenly they seem more manageable with someone at your side. And doesn’t Jay-Z know this. Written as he started dating Beyoncé Knowles, here he is, being harassed by racist cops, being accused of selling out, scrapping with loudmouth Big Time Charlies, but with the help of his beau he’s dealing with it. He casts each problem aside with swagger and panache, charm and wit, and, in his rebuke of the policeman, with a street-level intelligence sexy with chutzpah. The only time he shows any sympathy is when he commiserates with the listener having girl trouble, and indirectly 99 Problems becomes a sort of love song. Of course, with the huge, clattering drums and monster riff, there’s no room for soppiness – indeed, the track is more a magnificent boast than anything more affectionate – but, nonetheless, the source of Jay-Z’s strut here is romance and love, and from a rap community heavy with guns and bling, that tenderness is brilliantly refreshing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 09/08/2010 9:14 pm

    Like i need to say this. Jay Z is the best!

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