I can hold my liquor
But this man can’t handle his weed
It’s possible that the actual lyrics are “What this man can’t handle is me.” But, since Travis Scott was in the studio for this album, and he sent out a Tweet that said “But this man can’t handle his weed”, this is the more likely lyric.
When Vernon says “this man can’t handle his weed”, “this man” that he is talking about is actually Chief Keef and his version of the hook. Vernon’s hook is blurry and distorted, so it is trying to represent the effects of alcohol. And Chief Keef’s hook is displaying the effects of weed, as you can actually hear Chief Keef inhaling and exhaling smoke right before he starts his hook. Since both versions come from Kanye’s point of view, this “argument” demonstrates his inner turmoil. There’s a side of Kanye that is over-the-top cocky, but also a “dark and lonely” side that makes him feel worthless.
These two hooks are Kanye’s version of a devil and an angel on his shoulders fighting for control, since the messages both contradict themselves. Vernon’s hook shows Kanye trying to convince himself that he is awesome, even though he knows deep down that he’s just a lonely loser. And Chief Keef’s hook is Kanye beating himself up, even though in this version he thinks that deep down he is awesome and god-like.
The Vernon version shows Kanye expecting perfection for himself, and criticizing the part of him that is content with just getting drunk and making a fool of himself. But the “Chief Keef” side of Kanye responds to this criticism by saying Kanye is only happy when he is acting crazy. When he starts demanding too much of himself is when he starts falling into depression.
The point of all this is to show how Kanye is fighting with himself for who he wants to be. And that is a good way to portray Kanye, since he is so full of contradictions. He’s a backpack rapper that became the best known mainstream artist. He’s a perfectionist at his craft who doesn’t seem to have any control on his life at times. He’s one of the most intelligent and diligent artists of the 21st century but is often portrayed as an ignorant asshole. Add this all up and you get the one and only KANYE WEST.
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