Jay-Z has history of using other rappers lyrics, especially Notorious B.I.G., in his own rhymes, leading to accusations of theft, Nas using it against him during their feud on the song Ether. Jay-Z defends himself on "What More Can I Say". He claims when he uses one of Biggie's lyrics he is only honoring his fellow Brooklynite, rapping "I'm not a biter/ I'm a writer/ For myself and others/ I say a B.I.G. verse I'm only biggin' up my brother". The line that follows is one of B.I.G.'s from the song "Rap Phenomenon". "What More Can I Say" also uses the same MFSB sample as "Keep Your Hands High", by Tracey Lee and Biggie.
The B.I.G lyric Jay-Z borrows is "The rings and things you sing about, bring 'em out. It's hard to yell when the bar-rel's in your mouth." A few years later, that lifted lyric was sampled as the chorus for T.I.'s hit "Bring 'Em Out", no obvious reference made to Biggie's original line.