pageok
pageok
pageok
Sunday Song Lyric CrimPro Exam Fact Pattern: Ever notice how some professors who feel compelled to prove their hipness by inserting pop culture references into their exams? One of my professors used characters from Austin Powers for all the names in his exam, while another based the exam on a plotline from "Dawson's Creek," inserting a murder in the show's love triangle.


These efforts are often amusing, and occasionally a bit sad. Nonetheless, they can lighten the stress of taking an exam. In this spirit I offer a selection from "99 Problems" by rapper Jay-Z, recently named President and CEO of Def Jam records:
The year is '94 and my trunk is raw
In my rear view mirror is the ****** ******' law
I got two choices y'all pull over the car or (hmmm)
Bounce on the devil put the pedal to the floor
Now I ain't tryin' to see no highway chase for Jay
Plus I got a few dollars I can fight the case
So I . . . pull over to the side of the road
I heard "Son do you know what I'm stoppin' you for?"
Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hats real low
But do I look like a mind reader sir, I don't know
Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo'?
"Well you was doin fifty-five in a fifty-four
"License and registration and step out of the car
"Are you carryin' a weapon on you I know alot of you are"
I ain't steppin out of **** all my papers legit
"Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"
Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk and the back
And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that
"Aren't you sharp as a tack, you some type of lawyer or somethin'?
"Or somebody important or somethin'?"
Nah I ain't pass the bar but i know a little bit
Enough that you won't illegally search my ****
"We'll see how smart you are when the K-9 come"
I got 99 Problems but a ***** ain't one.

As to whether Shawn Carter knows the law, I'll defer to the Conspiracy's resident criminal procedure experts.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Law School Song Lyrics:
  2. Pop Culture & Exams:
  3. 99 Problems - CivPro Version:
  4. Sunday Song Lyric CrimPro Exam Fact Pattern:
99 Problems - CivPro Version: In response to my posting an excerpt of Jay-Z's "99 Problems," a Harvard law student offers his take on the song, "99 Problems but 12(b)(6) Ain't One." This version was prepared for Professor Heather Gerken's annual Civil Procedure Poetry Slam, but neither me nor the author vouches for its legal accuracy. (CivPro professors take note: Here's more exam material.) Unlike my post below, this is not the radio edit.

If you're havin' claim problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but 12(b)(6) ain't one

[Verse One]
I got Cravath & Co. on the fact patrol
Foes that wanna make sure my claim is closed
Posner is sayin my pleading's all toast
I'm from HLS stupid what kind of tacks are those?
If you drew up your prose meetin' rule ocho
You think you gotta be more specific? No!
I'm like "check Conley; kiss my whole asshole"
If you don't like my pleadin' you can get turned-over
Got beef with judges if I don't pass them show
They don't permit my 'mendments where ain't undue prejudice WHOA
Them defendents all try 'n relate back
So clients can pin my Doe for real...losers
I don't know what you take me as
or understand the intelligence that Dean Kagan has
I'm from rags to Cambridge, Justice I ain't dumb
I got 99 problems but 12(b)(6) ain't one
Sue me.

[Chorus]
99 Problems but 12(b)(6) ain't one
If you havin claim problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but 12(b)(6) ain't one
Sue me

[Verse Two]
The year is '94 and in my trunk is raw
In my rear view mirror is the motherfuckin' law
I got two choices y'all pull over the car or
Bounce on the devil; dump due process on the floor
Now i ain't tryin to see no litigation with jake
and 1988's on my side i can fight the case
But I...pull over to the side of the road
And i heard "Son do you know why i'm stoppin you for?"
Cause I'm Vinnie Capasso and I got garbage to throw?
Do I look like a mind reader sir, I don't know
Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo?
"Well you missed your last payment that malomar"
"License and registration and step out of the car"
"Are you aware of your rights? I'm sure a lot of you are"
I ain't steppin out of shit -- 14th amendment you bitch"
"Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"
Well you ain't got authorization and you ain't got no facts
And I know my rights so you don't got due process for that
"Aren't you sharp as a tack are you some type of lawyer or something?"
"Or some section 4 kid or somethin?"
Nah I ain't pass the bar but I know a little bit
Enough that you won't illegally replevin my shit
"We'll see how smart you are when your notice comes"
I got 99 problems but 12(b)(6) ain't one
Sue me

[Chorus X2]

[Verse Three]
Now once upon a time not too long ago
A student like myself had to hold a depo
This was not a depo like with a tape recorder
But a depo with my fist and a crowbar
I tried to 27(b) him, get him to talk
Pray for him, cause next time he ain't gonna walk
You know the type, pointin' to 26(b)(3)
Saying "that's privileged bitch, you gettin' nothing from me"
The only thing that's gonna happen I'm gonna get 'em on the stand
Gonna outdo what those retards in In Re Shell Oil can't
And there I go trashin' your privilege again
And if you don't go complyin' I'll 37(d) yo ass
In-house council on the floor cryin' again
Paralegals with they billables rackin' them
Judge goes and tries to bring up Control Group Theory
That's crap, but then I'd get your lower-level employee
All because these fools was harrasin' me
Tryin' to play this boy like he's in section 3
But ain't nothin sweet 'bout how i hold my Mont Blanc
I got 99 problems but this claim ain't one
Sue me

[Chorus X3]

You're crazy for this one Prof. G!
It's your boy
The things law students will do to procrastinate!

Pop Culture & Exams:

On the subject of inserting pop culture references into exams and other academic material, noted libertarian author Tibor Machan, who teaches business ethics at Chapman University, writes:

Although I do not know enough pop culture to reference it routinely, I wish I did. At 65 I need every pedagogical device available to connect with my students. Fortunately, I am cool enough as is but in part it comes from being familiar with their lives through my 20, 25 and 26 year old kids. When one teaches not at the elite places where students have been prepped to be involved since their crib days, it is desirable to find some way to motivate them, to show them the stuff you are teaching is not unrelated to their lives. Ergo, I assume, the pop references.
No doubt this is one reason some professors do it.

Update: Of course, trying to demonstrate one's "hip" quotient can pose risks as well. One professor e-mails this amusing anecdote:
Using pop culture can backfire too though. I gave a multiple choice bonus in an undergrad criminal law mid-term. One of the answers was 50 Cent (the rapper - very hip natch). After the test, one of my students came up and said he liked the reference, but he could tell it was out of my daily experience. Apparently, this highbrow "artist" is 50 Cent - I put 50 Cents. I was too cool by half. 10 minutes watching MTV2 would've saved me a few moments of slight embarrassment. Now I stick to things I know - movies, the Simpsons, and the occasional Monty Python cast of characters for a hypo (but that's mostly just for me I fear).

Law School Song Lyrics: The CivPro version of "99 Problems" is fun, but criminal law junkies might be partial to "Twas the Night before Booker" or "Take a Walk on the Blakely Side." I'm partial to the first one myself. Both items are courtesy of Begging the Question's Milbarge.

A VC reader with somewhat different musical tastes than my own, suggests that Jerry Garcia would be no less appropriate on a CrimPro exam than Jay-Z, and offers this bit from "Truckin'":
Sittin' and starin' out of the hotel window.
Got a tip they're gonna kick the door in again
I'd like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in.