Ice T says a Southern Rap pioneer originated the idea Jay Z used for the concept of his 2003 single “99 Problems.”
“Brother Marquis from 2 Live Crew, he made the hook,” Ice T says of his own “99 Problems” song, which appeared on the Los Angeles rapper’s 1993 album, Home Invasion, during interview with radio.com. “We were talking about ‘Whoomp! There It Is!’ [by Tag Team] which was a big hit, and he said, ‘Man, all the days when I was in Magic City and the girls would bend over and the DJs would say, “Whoomp! There it is!” It was the phrase that pays!’ And then out of nowhere he said, ‘Man, I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one!’ I said, ‘That’s a song [title]!’ So I made the song and called him to do a verse on it. [Years later], Chris Rock heard the song, and told Rick Rubin that Jay Z should remake it. They paid for the publishing and they made the song.”
Jay Z’s “99 Problems” was released a single on his 2003 album, The Black Album.
“Why Jay Z never said, ‘This is Ice-T’s song,’ and showed me some love, I don’t know,” Ice T says. “I’m friends with Jay. I met him with Big Daddy Kane. I would have handled the situation differently. If I use your music, I want to let people know. You hear my song ‘Shut Up, Be Happy,’ that’s Black Sabbath in the background. I think that being a real life player, there’s nothing you like better than to give props with other people. That’s just what you should do. But you know, that’s how I get down.”
In the radio.com interview, Ice T also gives props to several rappers who emerged after he first became popular in the mid-1980s.
“I like Lupe Fiasco, of course Kendrick Lamar,” he says. “I like Young Jeezy, too. When he said, “Oh, God, please don’t let me go to jail tonight,” [on Jadakiss’ “Traffikin'”] I was like, “He’s really dealing with that from a real place.” T.I. There’s a lot of really good lyricists out there, you’ve got people like,Immortal Technique, or Tech N9ne, who have been around forever.”