Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Law professor studies '99 Problems' for legal accuracy

jayz.jpg

While Watch The Throne continued to prove that Jay-Z remains at the very top of his game, we're willing to argue that nothing he's done since 99 Problems has truly captured that song's weep-inducing greatness.

But while we've embarrassingly rapped along to the lyrics time and time again, we've never really studied the song for its legal accuracy. We haven't had the time and, to be honest, we've never really been that bothered but lucky for us, someone else has done it all for us.

Caleb Mason, an associate professor of law at Southwestern University, decided to publish a paper dissecting the lyrics to discover whether Shawn Carter's knowledge of the law is on point or not.

On the whole, Mason wrote that he was mostly accurate, apart from one glaring issue. Here are some of the best parts of his extensive piece:

Do you know what I'm stopping you for?

This is an important part of any traffic-stop colloquy that should be memorialised by the prudent driver, ideally on a cell phone, unless you are (unluckily) in one of the thirteen states that require two-party consent for audio recording. Memorialization of the stated basis for the stop is important because the government must be able to show that the stop was based on probable cause, and you’ll be able to put the cop on the stand. So if you later develop evidence that you were not in fact doing what the officer said you were at the time, the officer will either have to fight the evidence, or else come up with a different basis for the stop, in which case he’ll have to contradict his contemporaneous explanation.

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 . . .

If this Essay serves no other purpose, I hope it serves to debunk, for any readers who persist in believing it, the myth that locking your trunk will keep the cops from searching it. Based on the number of my students who arrived at law school believing that if you lock your trunk and glove compartment, the police will need a warrant to search them, I surmise that it’s even more widespread among the lay public. But it’s completely, 100% wrong. There is no warrant requirement for car searches.

We’ll see how smart you are when the K-9s come . . .

If the police have a dog ready to sniff your car when they pull you over for a traffic violation, you have no basis for objecting to the sniff. And, of course, if the dog does alert to the car, that is probable cause, so the police can then search the whole car. That’s what the officer wanted to do with Jay-Z, but the K-9 unit wasn’t there when he was pulled over, and was late arriving. And this brings us to the final legal issue implicated by the song: excessive prolongation of a traffic stop. A traffic stop is a legitimate seizure of the person, for purposes of investigating the violation of the traffic law and writing up the citation. But it cannot be prolonged for longer than reasonably necessary to complete that legitimate activity.

You can read the whole article here.

[via Gawker]

(Image: Rex Features)

Related

kanjay.jpg

VIDEO: Kanye gets Kanye'd by Jay-Z

lyricshero.jpg

50 pieces of wisdom from song lyrics

1-velvet.jpg

50 Coolest Album Covers

Comments

More

American rapper records brutal diss track... about himself

He's gone in hard

by Dave Fawbert
28 Jun 2017

Glastonbury techno tent blares out Corbyn's speech at 4am

He won Glastonbury

by Alex Finnis
28 Jun 2017

First details of the Glastonbury spin-off festival emerge

It's sounding great already

by Dave Fawbert
27 Jun 2017

Watch Liam Gallagher perform 'Don't Look Back in Anger' for first time

Wonder what Noel thought of it...

by Tom Victor
26 Jun 2017

Tim Westwood accidentally sends credit card details to the internet

To be fair, he is nearly 60...

by Dave Fawbert
26 Jun 2017

Eminem has grown a beard and it's really unsettling

Will the real slim shavey please stand up?

by Carl Anka
26 Jun 2017

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl dedicates 'My Hero' to naked man

And the BBC accidentally showed him on TV

by Alex Finnis
26 Jun 2017

DJ Legend Goldie just accidentally revealed Banksy's identity

That's one big slip up...

by Carl Anka
23 Jun 2017

"Ohhh Jeremy Corbyn!" chant breaks out at Glastonbury silent disco

He's the hottest act of the summer

by Tom Victor
23 Jun 2017

Johnny Depp goes on rant about assassinating Donald Trump at Glasto

Someone's getting in trouble

by Gary Ogden
23 Jun 2017