And the drought will define a man when the well dries up
You learn the worth of water without work, you thirst til you die, yup!

from Jay Z – December 4th Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Hova talks about cocaine as it’s water (A common slang in the drug dealing world), so when there’s a drought and the supply of drugs runs out it’s the time in which the real men stand out, those who were able to save some money and had other forms of hustling. Jay always considered himself man, as he said in Can I Live:

I know this game got valleys and peaks, expectation
For dips, for precipitation we stack chips, hardly
The youth I used to be, soon to see a mill'in
No more Big Willie, my game has grown: prefer you call me William

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