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Released: April 2004

There are few things more satisfying that publicly scoring a lot of points off someone who’s made you feel small. Like that time some gormless bint yelled “Lesbian!” at me in the street as if it was an insult and I yelled back “Yeah, you wish love” and all her mates laughed at her. ’99 Problems’ is kind of like that moment multiplied many times over and made into a song. Jay-Z’s tale of a narrow escape after being pulled over by a patronizing cop while carrying coke is the ultimate ‘in your FACE’ anthem.

That heavy as hell, cold-school chiming beat, Jay’s impression of the cop’s gormless hick voice, “I ain’t stepping out of shit”. It’s just like…. Yeaaaaaaah. And yes, I suppose the chorus is undeniably a bit sexist, but then he did nick it off Ice-T anyway, and also it’s very very funny and I like shouting it at people, so whatever. And as he said, “Critics you can kiss my whole asshole“ so that’s me told along with the rest of them anyway. (EM)


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