What More Can I Say – Decoding the Legacy of a Hip-Hop Mogul
Are you not entertained?
Is this not why you’re here?
Uh, uh, huh
Turn the music up
Turn me down
Guru, let’s go get ’em again
This time it’s for the money my nigga
Brooklyn stand up
There’s never been a nigga this good for this long
Or this pop is hot
Or this strong
With so many different flows
This one’s for this song
The next one I’ll switch up
This one will get bit up
To lazy to make up shit
They don’t paint pictures
They just trace me
You know what
Soon they forget who they plucked
They whole style from
And try to reverse the outcome
I’m like, cluck
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
Biggin’ up my borough
I’m big enough to do it
I’m that thorough
Plus I know my own flow is foolish
So the rings and things you sing about
Bring ’em out
It’s hard to yell when the barrel’s in your mouth
I’m in, new sneakers
A few divas
What more can I tell you?
Let me spell it for you
Nobody truer than H-O-V
And I’m back for more
New York’s ambassador
Prime Minister back to finish my business up
What more can I say?
What more can I do?
I give this all to you
I know this much is true
(Look at my life)
(See what I see)
What more can I say to you
You heard it all
You already know what I’m about
Flying birds down south
Moving wet off the step
Purple Rain in the drought
Stunting on hoes
Brushing off my shirt
But ain’t nothing on my clothes
Except my chain
Pitch the yea faithful
Even if they patrol I make payroll
Benz paid for
Friends they roll
Private jets down to Turks and Caicos
Chrys’ case loads
I don’t give a shit
Nigga one life to live I can’t let a day go
Without me being fly
Fresh to death
Head to toe until the day I rest
And I don’t wear jerseys I’m thirty plus
Give me a crisp pair of jeans nigga button ups
S dots on my feet
Makes my cycle complete
What more can I say Guru play the beat
We gonna let this ride into the hook
I’ma snap my fingers on this one
What more can I say to you?
Get my grown man on
(What more can I say?)
Now you know ass is Willie
When they got you in a mag
For like half a billi
And your ass ain’t Lily
That mean that shit you write must be illy
Either that or your flow is silly
I don’t mean to boast
But damn if I don’t brag
Them crackers gonna act like I ain’t on they ads
The Martha Stewart
That’s far from Jewish
Far from a Harvard student
Just had the balls to do it
And no I’m not through with it
In fact I’m just previewing it
This ain’t the show I’m just EQ’in it
One, two and I won’t stop abusing it
To groupie girls stop false accusing it
Back to the music
The Maybach roof is translucent
Niggas got a problem Houston
What up B?
They can’t shut up me
Shut down I
Not even P.E.
God forgive me for my brash delivery
But I remember vividly
What these streets did to me
So picture me
Letting these clowns nit pick at me
Paint me like a pickanniny
I will literally
Kiss Tee-Tee in the forehead
Tell her please forgive me
Then squeeze until your forehead
I’m not the one to score points off
I got a joint to knock your points off
Hova the God nigga blast for me
I’m at the Trump International
Ask for me
I ain’t never scared
You ain’t never there
Nigga why would I ever care?
Pound for pound I’m the best to ever come around here
Look what I embody
The soul of a hustler I really ran the street
I CEO’s mine
That marketing plan was me
And no I ain’t get shot up a whole bunch of times
Or make up shit in a whole bunch of lines
And I ain’t animated, like say a, Busta Rhymes
But the real shit you get when you bust down my lines
Add that to the fact I went plat’ a bunch of times
Times that by my influence
On pop culture
I supposed to be number one on everybody’s list
We’ll see what happens when I no longer exist
(What more can I say?)
In the pantheon of hip-hop royalty, few figures loom as large as Shawn Corey Carter, known to the world as Jay-Z. With his deft lyrical prowess and business acumen, Jay-Z has orchestrated a career that spans beyond music, anchoring his legend firmly in cultural lore. ‘What More Can I Say,’ a track from his purported retirement album ‘The Black Album’ (2003), finds Jay-Z in a reflective state, reckoning with his legacy, impact, and the price of unparalleled success.
While the track pulsates with the bravado customary to hip-hop, it’s also layered with introspection and a conscious acknowledgment of the space Jay-Z occupies in both music history and his listeners’ psyche. He challenges his audience, asking rhetorically, ‘What more can I say?’ as if his history-making career could speak for itself. The song is a deep dive into the essence of a man who has become a myth in his own right, speaking volumes to those willing to dissect its narrative.
The Throne of Brooklyn: A Hometown Ode
In analyzing the verses of ‘What More Can I Say,’ one cannot help but notice the pride Jay-Z takes in his roots. Likening himself to the borough that raised him, he parallels his rise to the best parts of Brooklyn, which stands up, resilient and unflinching in the face of adversity. The borough’s tough exterior has long been fertile ground for storytelling, and Jay-Z personifies this ethos, showcasing the grit required to not only survive but thrive.
Through name-dropping Brooklyn and paying homage to his mentor and friend, the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z encapsulates a regional loyalty while also enshrining himself in the lineage of greats who have shaped the genre. It’s an acknowledgment of where he’s been even as he stands at the apex of where one can go.
Sampling the Greats: Paying Homage or Theft?
Jay-Z has never shied away from sampling lines from greats like B.I.G., yet in ‘What More Can I Say,’ he defends this artistic choice, framing it as ‘bigging up’ his brother rather than plagiarism. While critics may cry foul or insinuate a lack of originality, Jay-Z turns the narrative on its head, declaring these accusations as misunderstandings of hip-hop’s inherently referential and communal nature.
As he juggles the inspirations of the past with the innovation of his own work, Jay-Z raises the bar for future generations, demonstrating how to honor legacy while pushing boundaries. His intertextuality forces listeners to engage with a broader musical conversation where homage is an art form in itself.
Beyond the Lyrics: The Hidden Narrative Within
While the swagger is evident, a deeper listen to ‘What More Can I Say’ reveals a hidden narrative: the balance of vulnerability and toughness essential to Jay-Z’s persona. The song weaves a tale of someone who’s continually broken barriers and faced scrutiny but maintains authenticity amidst the spectacle of fame.
The ‘hidden meaning’ might be seen as a meditation on the price of success, where the betrayal of disingenuous acquaintances is as much a part of the journey as the accolades. Even as he basks in the success that he’s rightfully earned, there’s an underlying note of melancholy and wariness, a reminder that the pedestal is as isolating as it is exhilarating.
A Legacy and Aesthetic Cemented by Memorable Lines
‘What more can I say to you? You heard it all.’ This memorable line is a microcosm of the holds-no-bar narrative that defines Jay-Z’s eighth studio album. Here exists the essence of a man misunderstood, battling the expectations of fans, critics, and the industry. These lines, like many others in the song, are etched in the minds of his audience, emblematic of the permanence Jay-Z has carved out in hip-hop.
‘I don’t wear jerseys, I’m thirty-plus/Give me a crisp pair of jeans, nigga button-ups.’ With such lyrics, Jay-Z reinforces his maturity and evolution, rejecting the symbols of a youthful hip-hop culture for a grown man’s wardrobe — both in fashion and philosophy.
Varied Flows and the Kinetic Energy of Musical Genius
‘I’m not a biter, I’m a writer/For myself and others.’ These lines not only defend Jay-Z’s creative choices but underscore his multi-faceted skill as an artist. By switching up flows and pushing lyrical boundaries, he keeps his sound fresh and unpredictable. ‘What More Can I Say’ becomes a showcase of Jay-Z’s versatility and genius, cementing his position not just as an entertainer but as an innovator.
Jay-Z’s dynamic approach to rhythm and poetry ensures that each listens yields new insights and appreciations. Like a seasoned conductor with an orchestra at his fingertips, Jay-Z directs his words to elicit emotion and thought, a testament to his mastery over the medium.