recorded the original version in 1993 on his album Home Invasion
. Jay-Z's version uses the same music style and also the line, "If you've got girl problems I feel bad for you son, I've got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one," but the verse lyrics are drastically different.
Rick Rubin, who produced the track for Jay-Z, says it was comedian Chris Rock who had the idea of adapting Ice-T's song. The music producer told New York Magazine
: "[Chris] said, 'Ice-T has this song, and maybe there's a way to flip it around and do a new version of that.' And I told Jay-Z the idea and he liked it."
"The Ice-T song is about 'got 99 problems and a bitch ain't one', and then it's a list of him talking about his girls and what a great pimp he is," Rubin continued. "And our idea was to use that same hook concept, and instead of it being about the girls that are not his problem, instead of being a bragging song, it's more about the problems. Like, this is about the other side of that story."