Jay Z’s "99 Problems" Used to Teach Fourth Amendment Rights

Southwestern Law School Professor Caleb Mason has authored a law review article entitled “Jay-Z’S 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading With Fourth Amendment Guidance For Cops And Perps”, which has been recently highlighted on the SCOTUSblog.

Professor Mason’s article dissects rapper Jay Z’s lyrics and uses them to examine each moment of a traffic stop, as described in the second verse of “99 Problems.” In the song, Jay Z describes a scenario that involves being pulled over by a police officer while having drugs stored in the trunk of his vehicle.

The article’s author uses the song lyrics to clear up many false assumptions and to debunk the myth that officers need a warrant to search a vehicle. Professor Mason also makes it clear that “perps” shouldn’t “consent” to searches under any circumstances or thereby lose their right to suppress evidence under the Fourth Amendment.

The article is an interesting and informative read that I highly recommend to everyone, notwithstanding your “perp” status.

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