This is built around a sped-up sample from "If We Can't Be Lovers" by Prince Phillip Mitchell and also samples Chuck D from Public Enemy's "Bring The Noise."
Kanye West claims at the beginning of this song that the Hip-Hop artist Common passed on this.
Kanye West explained to concreteloop.com about this song: "I had an interview with Wendy Williams and it really touched me that, like when she even said the title of the song she started crying. Just saying that that song just touched her in that way. And I really thought about the lyrics and what I was saying and it really would relate to her. [he starts rapping parts of "Everything I Am"] You know, I was picturing, my muse for the song was kinda like, a little girl in High School or in grammar school getting picked on. Like she gets picked on for being too skinny or something and she grows up to be a model. Or she is getting picked on for being too big and grows up to be Oprah Winfrey or a journalist or something like that. So just saying like, all these things that made you not cool when you was growing up, it's almost like having a handicap. You know what I'm saying? You know if someone is blind, you can end up being Stevie Wonder because your ears are that much better."
Prince Phillip Mitchell sued Kanye West in early 2018, claiming Yeezy sampled "If We Can't Be Lovers." without permission. His lawsuit also accused Solange of stealing from the same song for her "F--- the Industry" track, which is heavily based around a sample of "Everything I Am", so features some of the same elements. After leaking in 2008, Solange's track was originally supposed to appear on a mixtape titled "I Can't Get Clearance."
TMZ reports that Mitchell's lawsuit seeks damages and also wants Kanye and Solange to stop performing the songs and to put a halt to radio play as well. Mitchell is also asking for punitive damages, alleging that Solange and Kanye "willfully committed the infringement."