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Florida Lawmakers Dean Cannon And Alan B. Williams Debate Jay-Z Lyrics On House Floor

First Posted: 03/ 8/2012 1:05 pm Updated: 03/ 8/2012 11:30 pm

In the final two days of the Florida legislature's 60-day session, legislators are really struggling to pass a few more bills: they've started correcting each other's Jay-Z lyrics in arguments for and against amendments.

Wednesday, Rep. Alan B. Williams (D-Tallahassee) quoted the New York rapper's track "99 Problems" in a discussion of an amendment regarding Florida evidence code:

"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."

Yet speaker Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park) wouldn't let a Jay-Z misquote go un-chastised, as first noted on The Washington Free Beacon. The unlikely rap enthusiast responded with a "respectful" correction -- or at least, what he thought was a correction:

"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.

As the Beacon notes, both congressmen got the lyrics wrong. Cannon is correct in that it's the cop who says the line, but only Williams repeated the lyric correctly:

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?

After reading the Beacon's fact-checking, Williams tweeted his relief:

Meanwhile, lyrics don't suggest how Jay-Z might feel about the right to dye animals pink, so thank goodness that issue is out of the way.

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Filed by Amanda McCorquodale  |