Jay Z is the subject of New York Magazine's "Annual Yesteryear Issue," which highlights artists who have shaped the sound of pop music over the last 100 years, particularly in the New York area. Along with gracing one of eight covers for the special edition issue, an interesting anecdote about Jay Z and his 2003 record "99 Problems" is included in the article. Legendary producer Rick Rubin, who made the beat for "99 Problems," says a comedian gave them the idea to flip Ice-T's song by the same name.
"Chris Rock had the idea for the chorus," Rubin states. "It’s based on an Ice-T song called '99 Problems,' and [Rock] said, 'Ice-T has this song, and maybe there’s a way to flip it around and do a new version of that.' I told Jay Z the idea and he liked it."
"The Ice-T song is about 'got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one,' and then it’s a list of him talking about his girls and what a great pimp he is," Rubin continues. "Our idea was to use that same hook concept, and instead of it being about the girls that are not his problem, instead of being a bragging song, it’s more about the problems. Like this is about the other side of that story."
Thanks to Chris Rock, that was one less problem Hov had to worry about during the recording of The Black Album.
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