Jay-Z ain’t passed the bar but he knows a little bit.
The Brooklyn-born rap mogul got testy on the stand Friday with an attorney for a perfume brand suing him for breach of contract.
“I’m not a lawyer,” Jay-Z, 51, repeated numerous times.
The company, Parlux Fragrances, says the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, failed to make the requisite appearances to promote a celebrity perfume called Gold Jay Z.
Anthony Viola asked Jay-Z if he knew when he signed the contract that he was agreeing to promote the perfume.
Jay-Z responded by reminding Viola, just as he said in the hit song “99 Problems,” that he is not a member of the bar.
“I did not read the contract,” Jay-Z said.
“I’m not a lawyer,” he repeated, adding that his lawyers probably explained the deal to him.
Jurors giggled and smiled knowingly at each other behind their masks as the “Empire State of Mind” rapper entered the courtroom, wearing a black blazer, a white crew neck shirt and a black mask.
But at times as the afternoon progressed, Carter looked a little bored, resting his head in his hand and closing his eyes as he waited for the jury to return after a break.
After Viola asked Carter if he showed up at a Good Morning America appearance to promote the perfume, the rapper tried to turn the questioning around on the lawyer.
“I had a year to complete these (appearances), correct? I don’t know if you answered my question,” Jay-Z said. “I had a year to complete these right?”
Jay-Z kept trying to question the lawyer, leading the judge to give the Jigga Man a brief instruction on the law.
“For now, Mr. Viola gets to ask the questions. He doesn’t have to answer any questions (from Jay-Z) he doesn’t want to,” the judge said.
In the lawsuit, Parlux accuses the “Black Album” rapper of not fulfilling his end of the contract, which required six promotional appearances for the fragrance launched in October 2013.
The debut of the perfume was very successful, Parlux said in its suit, but celebrity promotion is key to keeping a signature scent profitable.
“In the fragrance industry, it is virtually impossible to sustain the success of a celebrity fragrance” without both celebrity appearances, the lawsuit filed in 2016 says.
Jay-Z shot back, countersuing Parlux over $2.7 million he says they failed to pay him in the deal.
During cross examination, Viola showed Jay-Z portions of his 2013 daily schedule. The schedules always included a brief weather report as well as all the times for NBA and NFL games of the day, in case Jay-Z wanted to tune in.
In a single week in November 2013, Jay-Z had separate meetings with the Mets and Yankees front offices as well as an Oklahoma City meeting with NBA superstar Kevin Durant.
The case started Monday with jury selection and will continue into next week, with Jay-Z returning to the stand in the morning.