Some hip-hop heads postulate that the word “bitch” in Jay-Z’s early-2000s hit “99 Problems," is used in its original sense as much as its modern sense. Considering that the narrative of the song involves the threat of a drug sniffing-canine unit, the theory checks out. Even if we do know what isn’t officially a problem for the exceedingly diversified rapper-mogul, it’s still fun to speculate on those nearly 100 nuisances that purportedly do exist. In fact, an illustrator has begun doing so every day.
Artist Ali Graham is about midway through his journey chronicling the various and sundry inherent difficulties of being Jay-Z. Graham recently posted the 45th addition to his tumblr 99 Problems, a series of images illuminating the titular tumults in the life of Beyonce’s husband. It’s a blog that makes gleefully goofy sport of a person who, at this point, seems to have a serious lack of problems.
Some of the entries are derived from Jay-Z’s lyrics. The line, “Radio don’t play my hits,” for example--Problem #42-- of course comes from the song “99 Problems.” Others, like Problem #40, “Bad Twerk Ethic,” stem from other aspects of Jay-Z’s life, like his official support for Miley Cyrus’s fascination with twerking. But others simply revel in random absurdity, like Problem #33, which finds Jay-Z rendered as an Adventure Time character.
Have a look through some of Co.Create’s favorites in the slides above, and please submit your own Jay-Z problems in the comments below.