Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Jay-Z (right), a man of letters and law.
Southwestern Law Professor Caleb Mason says that for a mere $1.29 on iTunes, Jay Z's 99 Problems offers some of the cheapest, most comprehensive advice you can find on how to handle a traffic stop if you have cocaine hidden in a secret compartment in your car's skylight (or, hypothetically, in your trunk).
Mason's new paper in the journal of the Saint Louis University School of Law focuses on the song's second verse:
The year is ‘94 and in my trunk is raw / In my rearview mirror is the motherf--king law / I got two choices y’all, pull over the car / Or bounce on the double put the pedal to the floor / Now I ain’t trying to see no highway chase with jake / Plus I got a few dollars, I can fight the case / So I . . . pull over to the side of the road / And I heard, “Son, do you know what I’m stopping you for?” / “Cause I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low? / Do I look like a mind reader, sir? I don’t know / Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo'?” / “Well you was doing 55 in a 54 / License and registration and step out of the car / Are you carrying a weapon on you? I know a lot of you are” / “I ain’t stepping out of sh--, all my papers legit" / "Do you mind if I look around the car a little bit?" / "Well, my glove compartment is locked, so is the trunk and the back / and I know my rights so you go’n need a warrant for that" / "Aren’t you sharp as a tack, some type of lawyer or something / or somebody important or something?" / "Nah, I ain’t pass the bar, but I know a little bit / Enough that you won’t illegally search my shit" / "We’ll see how smart you are when the K-9s come" / I got 99 problems but a b--ch ain’t one