Chances are, if you’ve been on Tumblr the last few months, you’ve seen a certain rapper dealing with all of life’s conundrums, from a fear of flying (which garnered close to 19,000 reblogs) to poor twerk ethic. Readers of the 99 Problems blog have seen Jay Z face hilarious “day-to-day” problems, which include clever references to his songs, often going back to his earlier albums. Jay is joined by a roster of guest stars including: Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, and even little Blue Ivy. In this video you’ll meet the very talented Ali Graham, who incorporated pop culture references, such as Breaking Bad, Titanic and Spiderman into the series. Ali mixes in these references amongst mundane everyday problems that lead you to believe that Jay Z is just like us.
His work is a clever exploration of pop culture, our idolization of musicians and the way we believe them to be superheroes. Ali humorously strips Jay Z down and humanizes him using his own wordplay. His process for creating these works can be laborious, if the idea for the day doesn’t jump to him immediately. Once he’s got the vision, the rest forms quite quickly.
We were there as he drew his problem for the day and it was very fun to watch it all happen from concept to creation. We sat down with him afterwards to discuss his idea for the blog, audience reception to it and whether or not Jay Z knows Ali is illustrating his problems.
It’s projects like these that are particularly exciting for us to be a part of because it shows how one artist has the ability to inspire many others.
Ali revealed the 99th problem recently, and has another series featuring Beyonce in the works, click here to go through the entire series and see how many of the references you can get.
I like the fact that you offer something simple, and people can read into it more