Now Reading
The Genius Of Post Malone’s Hard-Hitting ‘Insane’

The Genius Of Post Malone’s Hard-Hitting ‘Insane’

If there’s anything we’ve learned from Post Malone over the years, it’s that nothing is quite what it seems. Throughout his Twelve Carat Toothache album, he gives us all sorts of interesting bait-and-switches while discussing how fame isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. One of the most fascinating examples is the buzzy ‘Insane,’ a party-ready banger that has a subtle dark side you might not pick up on – and it just so happens that we’ve thought about this song and its meaning a lot, so we have all sorts of thoughts to share with you! 

Sitting pretty in the middle of Twelve Carat Toothache, ‘Insane’ might be easy to box in as a party-ready flex anthem in a similar vein to ‘Congratulations,’ or ‘Rockstar.’ But if you listen closely and pay attention to the tracklist order – where it sits between the melancholy of breakup anthem ‘I Cannot Be’ and the confessional journey of ‘Love/Hate Letter To Alcohol’ – it becomes clear that ‘Insane’ is a centerpiece of the album. It’s one of the few songs on the project where he’s fully leaning into fame and his success, even though it’s with an element of sadness.

“But it’s different…”

The song opens with a distant-sounding “yeah, we both got a car but it’s…” before Post gets cut off by a risqué “take your b*tch, give her back, insane” hook. It sounds closer to something we might’ve heard in his earlier work, and it’s like the introspection of what would’ve been the first lyric of the song got interrupted by expectations, like how music was initially such a fun thing for Post before Hollywood’s expectations dulled his spark – he told Billboard in 2022 that fame can be really stressful for artists, noting that “there’s always something to do, and someone always wants something from ya.” 

We get to hear the rest of the idea on the chorus – “yeah, we both got a car but it’s different, yeah, we both got a house but it’s different, yeah, we both got teeth but it’s different.” Post cycles through different areas he’d usually get to brag about as one of the biggest musicians in the world, being that he could easily afford any cars, houses, or shiny teeth he wants, but there’s an emptiness to his voice, especially on the “but it’s different” bit. His mumbled aside and subtle complaint (more on that in the next section) becomes the main part of the song, which we assume is a metaphor for how even the quieter parts of an artist’s life can easily be thrown into the spotlight or misconstrued.

“We both got a house…”

These fancy living situations aren’t necessarily benefitting Post’s mindset or growth, and if you really wanna read into it, you can note how he says “house” instead of “home.” Even on the harrowing ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding,’ he insists that “Hollywood’s bleeding, but we call it home.” And you could also link this idea to the Hollywood’s Bleeding deep cut ‘A Thousand Bad Times,’ on which Posty sings, “you tried to burn my house down, but what’s another house to me?” In both examples, a home isn’t seen as something truly safe or sacred, and throughout Twelve Carat Toothache, he plays with the idea of house vs. home in regards to both his fame and fortune and his personal relationships.

The first taste we got of the Twelve Carat Toothache album was with ‘Cooped Up,’ a song that talks about feeling trapped with a double entendre explaining fame and how we were all cooped up in our houses during COVID lockdowns. On ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger,’ Post flexes that he had someone’s “mom and daddy’s house on [his] pinky” in the form of an expensive ring when he met them. ‘Insane’ is where the energy changes and a house/home, both literally and figuratively, is seen as something empty or unfulfilling. On a literal level, a lavish house might seem nice, but it’s a physical representation of his rampant success and the chaos and disillusionment that have come with it.

 The raunchy ‘One Right Now’ recounts a girlfriend cheating on him in their own home, and on ‘When I’m Alone,’ Post plainly says, “my only home went down in smoke” while talking about the downfall of a relationship that leads to him sleeping at a hotel. He returns to this idea on ‘Waiting For Never’ as he reflects on “trying to make a home out a house while it’s burning down” – you could even argue that that lyric is the thesis statement of the album, describing Post’s desire to find comfort and connection in the midst of fame’s twist and turns and personal struggles.

So while Post and this person might “both got a house,” his is probably a mansion that he doesn’t necessarily feel at home in. “It’s different” both physically and emotionally as Post grapples with what fame means for himself and his relationships. At the end of the day, what would fulfill you more: a fancy house or building a home with someone you care about?

“In a shirt skort, please…”

If you’re talking about ‘Insane,’ you have to talk about how simply unserious parts of it are. The first lyric of the second verse – “second verse, second verse, yay” – is really the kicker because it’s like Post feels like he has to create a party anthem and get the song done rather than necessarily make it something deeper like the more clearly raw, thoughtful moments on the album. It’s also worth noting that the “yay” sounds virtually emotionless, and Post is noted for how much emotion he puts into his vocals, so that’s definitely not just a slip-up. 

In addition, “I wanna see something in a short skirt, please” turns into “I wanna see something in a shirt skort, please,” which basically wins the award for Most Unserious Post Malone Lyric Of All Time while leaning into full parody mode. There are also some generally nonsense lines like “a million racks, I need it cash,” which is asking for a billion dollars in cash, and “I got 20-30 strippers in the Sprinter van,” when Sprinter vans have a capacity of 12-15 people depending on the size. On first listen, it sounds fine, but once you pick up on those small details, it gets you thinking about the true story Post is telling (more on that in the next section!).

Post builds on the unserious vibes with the ‘Insane’ music video, which sees him jamming out by a pool. But even then, there’s a deeper meaning. He’s not wearing a shirt, which seems to be mocking the lyric “treat my top like my ex, I’mma cut it off completely” – the original lyric is about lowering the top of a convertible, but by spinning it into something about his clothes, he’s making a point about how artists are seen as commodities rather than people.

See Also

It’s also interesting to look at how ‘Insane’ even got a music video, though. It’s not an official single, but it still kinda got the official single treatment in that regard. As we mentioned earlier, the proper singles didn’t really go into depth on the album’s themes, and ‘Insane’ could’ve easily been a bigger single leaning into Post’s old sound, but he chose not to go that route. You can see it as a faux single satirizing his past work with a new sense of depth and growth!

“I ain’t even gotta get up…”

Even if it takes a few (or a few dozen, if you really wanna dig into it) listens to understand it, we really think ‘Insane’ is one of the most clever songs in Post Malone’s catalog. By purposely making it sound like a “typical” Post song, one that you could easily just jam out to and not really understand the meaning of, and adding nonsensical lyrics that make you go “huh” if you think about them, he’s making a point about how a lot of listeners don’t fully listen to what artists are saying. We all know Post’s bigger hits, but not as many people have really sat with his albums and thought about the stories he’s telling across each song. He’s an artist who will really get you thinking, so if you haven’t done that yet, you should!

What did you think of ‘Insane’ the first time you heard it? Did you notice any of the things we pointed out? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: