Hugo: 99 Problems Meaning
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99 Problems Lyrics
I got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one
Tip my hat to the sun in the west
Feel the beat right in my chest
At the crossroads a second time
Make the devil change his mind.
It's a pound...
anonymous Jul 8th, 2012 7:09pm report
I disagree with the biblical theory. The thing is that this song borrows the chorus from Jay-Z's song ironically. The girl is his biggest problem. The line "at the crossroads a second time." is not a metaphorical allusion to a bible verse. I think it is literally referring to the crossroads mythology. A crossroads is a place between places, neither here nor there. In certain cultures or religions one can strike a deal at a crossroads with a "black man", also thought to be the devil, at midnight or just before dawn. Since he says the second time, obviously he was denied at his first attempt hence "make the devil change his mind." This is backed up by "I tip my hat to the sun in the west" Which I take to mean, he is up and out and about starting at night since the sun sets in the west. You can tell it's a lamenting kind of song, he says "it's a pound of flesh, but it's really a ton.." obviously referring to his heart. "like broken glass under my feet, I could lose my mind in this heat.." He can't think straight, "this heat" refers to his being in love. Also again, the drinking the flood, not biblical as I see it. "only one drink, then I drink the flood.." I can see where you would think that and it definitely could be that "the flood" is referring to the biblical flood however it is just for exaggeration. He is talking about alcohol, he has one but can't stop. Literally drinking his pain away, drinking far too much. The line "you can come inside but your friends can't come.." This backs up the previous line because it's alluding to standing outside a club or bar in line, the bouncer will let one in b/c of numbers or let a famous person in but not the others. Those two parts together make sense. I almost skipped the line "looking for a price but I don't want blood.." he'd give anything or do anything which in a deal with the devil the worst is almost always asked, but he doesn't isn't ready to kill or die for it. He is torn. His video even, I think, is showing how with all the chaos and crazy things going on around him in his life and all he can think about is this girl. The repetition of "99" and the chorus in it's entirety is like someone stating something over and over to make themselves or someone else believe that it's true. So in essence this is a song about a man being desperately in love with a woman that he would do ALMOST anything. It can drive a man crazy. A lot of songs out there are about the exact same things, his use of language is very skillful and not altogether obvious. This could all be completely wrong, but having listened to this song many, many times. I think it's very close. Also on a final note, look at the movies it has been used in situationally, "No Strings Attached" and "Fright Night". Both movies where the guy is madly in love with a girl and goes to extremes to prove it and win her over. They both had a first chance and then had the girl taken away and then got another. I think this analogy is pretty accurate.
anonymous Oct 6th, 2015 10:11pm report
The song is a straightforward interpretation of the original Jay-Z song, which is about police almost catching the rapper with drugs. A drug dog was called but never showed up, and Jay-A had to be let go.
"Tip my hat to the sun in the west"
(It got too late in the day, the cop had to leave)
"Feel the beat right in my chest"
(Anxiety over getting caught)
The line about the second chance with the devil at the crossroads is about the police leaving, the police are "the devil"
"Pound of flesh" is a pound of cocaine (really a ton...might as well be a ton)
"Bitch" is a drug dog
"You can come inside but your friends can't come"
(Cop can search but drug dogs can't)
anonymous Feb 21st, 2013 2:04pm report
Going to the crossroads a 2nd time, make the devil change his mind.
It's about getting your soul back...in every crossroads like story the devil will gladly take you up on your deal with him because he doesn't give you a fair deal.
Going there a second time and making the devil change his mind is working the devil's deal back into your favor and retrieving you soul.
anonymous Aug 21st, 2011 8:32pm report
"If you're havin' girl problems i feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems and a bitch ain't one." The song's chore line basically means nothing is as bad as girl problems. Don't matter what problems you do have, not as bad as girl problems.
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