It's not like popular music has never given the youth of America incorrect information before. For instance, it is not true that love is all we need, nor that young girls should taste like brown sugar.
However, today's news that a member of 2 Live Crew is suing Jay-Z over the song "99 Problems" turned my attention to that problematic ditty. Ever since it came out this song has really bugged, because its inaccuracies might result in something worse than a lifetime of disappointing romantic encounters, namely Serious Trouble With Da Law.
So it's time for a Public Service Announcement. Readers: Your drugs and weapons are not safe in the glove compartment of your car, even if it's locked!*
To refresh your memory, here, in relevant part, is what Jay-Z tells us about 4th Amendment jurisprudence (whilst recalling a traffic stop from his past):
"Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?"Now, it's true that the Constitution generally bars warrantless searches, so in general you can say no if the cops ask if they can serach your car. However, that's kind of like saying that in general the sky is blue, so there's no need to own an umbrella, or that in general human beings are kind, so you can trust strangers.
Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk in the back
And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that
"Aren't you sharp as a tack are some type
of lawyer or something?"
"Or somebody important or somethin?"
Nah I ain't pass the bar but I know a little bit
Enough that you won't illegally search my shit
In practice, if cops can come up with a reason why they're nervous that you might have a weapon or something, even if they don't have enough reason to arrest you they can still frisk you and search your immedate vicinity, which means your glove compartment if you're in your car, and the lock is not really going to be a big impediment, I don't think. Here's an example that's not exactly what happened to Jay-Z, but close enough.
Here ends this educational interruption . . . tomorrow we will return to our regular programming.
*I'm kind of getting into footnotes here, aren't I? This one is to say: I don't necessarily know what I'm talking about here, so if any of you do and would like to correct me or elaborate, please comment away or email me!