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Jay-Z's '99 Problems' now include Tumblr cartoons and six-hour rap

Two very different projects are combining art and the music of Jay-Z. Gillian Orr finds out more

We know “a bitch ain’t one”, but have you ever given much thought as to what Jay-Z’s 99 problems actually are? Artist Ali Graham has. And he’s been imagining just what troubles the hip-hop superstar has in his day-to-day life and drawn them up as charming and funny illustrations.

Getting stuck with a tricky crossword, treading in gum and brain freeze are just a few of the suggested situations that might interfere with the multimillionaire’s otherwise charmed life. Currently on No 41, Graham aims to complete one a day.  He posts the rapper’s predicaments on Twitter (@99probs99) and Tumblr  (probs99.tumblr.com).

And while someone is making art about Jay-Z, Jay has been busy creating some of his own. Last week at Pace Gallery in New York, Hova joined Marina Abramovic for a bit of awkward performance art. Rapping his song “Picasso Baby”, which includes shoutouts to the likes of Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon and Jeff Koons, for six hours straight, Jay-Z was inspired by Abramovic’s 2010 MoMa exhibition, The  Artist is Present, in which the Serbian  performance artist sat in a chair during business hours for almost two months staring into the eyes of those who sat opposite her.

And just as many questioned whether Ambramovic’s installation really was art, it seems people are having similar doubts over Jay-Z’s latest stunt too.