Jay-Z often quotes the late Biggie Smalls in his lyrics and now HOV is explaining why he does exactly that.
“There was a vow in that song about Big. So doing that was my way of always keeping him fresh and keeping his music fresh on everyone's mind,” he said. “So I'm inspired by music and I'm a fan and a historian. I study music and different emotions and things like that. So, if I'm inspired by it, I just use it. It's not a crutch for me. I can write a song without using anyone’s lyric at all.” (Roc4Life)
Jigga goes on to quote his "What More Can I Say" line in which he says "I say a Big verse, I’m only bigging up my brother." Jay says he doesn't need to prove he can write, his skills show he can.
“That sums the whole thing up. Be comfortable with yourself and your ability. You don’t have that insecurity when people say, ‘Oh he stealing homeboy’s lyrics, he can’t write a rap.’ We can sit down next to anybody and write two verses. They could write and I could sit up there and come with a verse and we can see who comes up with a better verse any day.” (Roc4Life)
Jay-Z – Talks Quoting Biggie Smalls In His Rhymes