When I worked for the Illinois House of Representatives there were a lot of fun moments on the floor during debates. Here’s a video of one that happened in Florida earlier this month, involving Rep. Alan B. Williams (D-Tallahassee) and Speaker Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park).
Who could resist quoting Jay-Z’s 99 Problems when debating about evidence collection laws? I don’t know how it hasn’t happened before. You know, rap is often a form of poetry.
However, I’m disappointed to note that both legislators were wrong! The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Two Florida state representatives got into a debate over the lyrics to Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives Wednesday while discussing an amendment to the Florida Evidence Code regarding allowing certain types of hearsay as evidence:
REP. ALAN B. WILLIAMS: I think one of the reasons why were supporting the amendment is because we got such a warm and fuzzy farewell from you to set the mood to support this amendment. To go even further, you think about a wise businessman. He even said he knows his rights. And Jay-Z…I think Jay-Z said it best and I’m going to quote for you. “I know my rights and you’re going to need a warrant for that.” And he even went further, “Aren’t you sharp as a tack, are you a lawyer or something?” Members, when you look at it, support this. If you support Jay-Z, support this amendment. Thank you.
SPEAKER DEAN CANNON: I must respectfully disagree with a correction, Rep. Williams. In the song, it was the officer who said, “Aren’t you sharp as a tack?” or something. “You should try for lawyer or something,” so I got you on that. It’s an unspoken rule, if you’re going to invoke Jay-Z, you must get the lyrics correct. I’m not sure Jay-Z would support this amendment.
Both representatives misquote the lyrics. It is the cop that asks the question, as Cannon says, but Williams has the actual line correct:
(COP) Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?
(JAY-Z) Well, my glove compartment is locked, so is the trunk in the back,
And I know my rights so you gonna need a warrant for that.
(COP) Aren’t you sharp as a tack? You some type of lawyer or something,
Somebody important or something?