j. cole the off-season album

J. Cole – pride.is.the.devil Ft. Lil Baby | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review

“pride.is.the.devil” is the seventh track on J. Cole’s 2021 album ‘The Off-Season.’ On the track, J. Cole collaborates with Lil Baby to sing about ‘pride’ as being one of the greatest pitfalls that anyone can have.

J. Cole announced his sixth studio album ‘The Off-Season‘ out of the blue as intended. The rapper only released an interlude from the album before the album release on May 14, 2021. This is J. Cole’s follow-up album to his 2018 project ‘KOD.’ Announcing the album, J. Cole said, the new album was years in the making.

In Christian teachings, pride is the first of the Seven Deadly Sins or cardinal sins. Pride is the feeling of self-centeredness, often at the cost of caring for others. It is considered to be the deadliest of the seven sins and thus deemed to be the favorite virtue of the devil.

Listen to “pride.is.the.devil” by J. Cole Ft. Lil Baby

“pride.is.the.devil” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review


In the chorus of the song, J. Cole makes a point–pride is the devil which can easily get you down to the lowest depths of hell. It is very easy for an artist of the caliber and success such as J. Cole to be bloated in pride. So, it is a very difficult task to remain humble or practice humility. However, pride is not measured by one’s success. It can come in many forms and through many sources. It can be hard to dodge these thoughts and harder to remain humble.

Being proud of one’s accomplishments is not exactly ‘pride.’ You should be proud of your accomplishments, but you should not let it change your view of the world around you. For everyone else, you should remain humble.


J. Cole personifies ‘pride’ and calls it ‘you.’ He sings how when in our lowest time we rely on ourselves to make it out. And when we do make it out, it is very easy to be trapped in a false sense of ego. While relying on yourself to get out of a bad spot is good, it is also important to have the self-control to be true to yourself when you get out of that situation.

Verse 1

J. Cole gets some flashbacks seeing an ambulance pass him with its sirens on. He recalls a time when another guy pulled out a gun to his face and robbed him. He was lucky enough to get out alive. J. Cole thinks that this thief had only one thing in his mind–himself. He had a gun, so he felt untouchable. However, in a similar sense, if J. Cole was too self-centered at that time, and acted upon his instincts to fight the thief, it could have gone very bad for Cole.

J. Cole goes on to list down many pitfalls of pride that he himself has experienced throughout his life. He mentions how some people, after doing some petty crime, flashed a few hundred dollars and started acting all wealthy and above everyone else. He sings how some people get so elevated on the pride they start treating people who care for them in a very bad manner. He has seen how families tear apart when an ounce of pride gets in the way.

J. Cole says that he thinks ‘pride’ is the root of all problems. This idea is consistent with the teachings in Christianity with regards to the Seven Deadly Sins. However, seeing what pride does to people, he has a different perspective even when people say they are proud of all his achievements.


In the bridge of the song, J. Cole sings the massive amounts of wealth he has been raking in. He says that he needs one guy to count it all up and another guy to make sure the other guy had his count correct.

Verse 2

Lil Baby joins “pride.is.the.devil” in the second verse. He starts off by singing that he makes five hundred thousand dollars a month on a regular. He has almost everything money can buy and this is a life he is used to now. But it does not come from nothing. Lil Baby also raps that he has no off days on his calendar. So, even at the top of the game, the grind continues.

While the money is all good and stacking up, Lil Baby is still cautious. He questions if pride is going to destroy him! It is easier to lose than win. He wonders if bragging about his money is against his best interest. For example, rapper Pop Smoke was shot dead in February 2020. When the four juvenile suspects were arrested, they confessed to the motives behind the killing as stealing Pop Smoke’s Cuban link chain and Rolex watches.

Flashing your wealth certainly can take bad turns. Stay humble, people!

Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics of the song on Genius.

3 thoughts on “J. Cole – pride.is.the.devil Ft. Lil Baby | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review

  1. When cole said “terrified paranoid i put you over everything to fill the void when your gone will i have anything or will i be destroyed”. I honestly feel like he was referring to his career in rap. He’s given up everything to get to the point he’s at now and that he’s here he’s scared about what the future holds.

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