"99 Problems" is the third single released by American rapper Jay-Z in 2003 from The Black Album. It reached number thirty on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The track was produced by Rick Rubin, his first hip hop production in many years. Rubin provided Jay-Z with the type of stripped-down beat that was once his trademark. To construct the beat, Rubin used samples of "The Big Beat" by Billy Squier, and "Long Red" by Mountain. Although it remains uncredited, "99 Problems" also contains samples of "Get Me Back on Time, Engine No. 9" by Wilson Pickett.
The title and chorus are taken from Ice-T's "99 Problems" from his 1993 album Home Invasion. The song featured Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew. Portions of Ice-T's original lyrics were similarly quoted in a song by fellow rapper Trick Daddy on a track unsurprisingly titled "99 Problems" from his 2001 album Thugs Are Us. Jay-Z begins his third verse directly quoting lines from Bun B's opening verse off Touched, from the UGK album Ridin' Dirty
On July 6, 2008, more than four years after the song's initial release, "99 Problems" entered the UK Singles Chart at #35 (after reaching #12 on initial release). This was attributed to Jay-Z's appearance at Glastonbury and the O2 Wireless Festival, two popular British summer music festivals.
On January 21, 2009, Jay-Z performed the song as part of his set at the Staff Ball, the last offcial event of Barack Obama's inauguration. The ball was exclusively for 4,000 staffers who had worked on Obama's campaign. Jay-Z tweaked the lyrics to suit the historic atmosphere, and the crowd sang along: "I Got 99 problems but a Bush ain't one."