KOD is themed around drug use, but such "drugs" don't just come in the pill form. They represent anything that are coping mechanisms with side effects that leave the "user" feeling empty. Cole explained in a trailer released the day before the album was dropped:
"If I turn on the TV right now, it's not going to be long before an advertisement pops up that says 'are you feeling down? Have you been having lonely thoughts?' And then they shove a pill in your face" he said of the "Kids on Drugs" title. "The first response to any problem is medicate."
The second meaning, 'King Overdose' is "representing me… the times that I was - and am - afflicted by the same methods of escape, whether it be alcohol, phone addiction, women," Cole added.
Lastly, 'Kill Our Demons,' represents breaking free of past trauma. "That's the end goal, to face our s--t, realize we have some s--t going on inside—everybody," he said "I realized everybody family is f---ed up because nobody is f---ing perfect. Whether you want to or not, you're going to f--k up your kids in some type of way, because you got f---ed up in some type of way ..the plan is to f--k your kids up the least amount possible.
'Kill Our Demons' is like, finding that s--t, whether it be from traumatic childhood experiences, whether it be from a lack of attention, confidence issues, insecurities—whatever it is, we gotta' be honest with ourselves. Look in the mirror or look inside and ask ourselves questions, like 'what's causing me to run to this thing as an escape?' And once I find the root of that, let me look it in its face an see what it really is."
The theme running through K.O.D. is the pain that makes people escape into various drugs whether it be chemical substances, alcohol, money, sex or social media.
Cole told Vulture. "We live in a society where all this drug use is normalized. It's the norm, it's okay, it's...encouraged, it's...promoted. You turn on the TV - 'You feeling down?' Of course I'm feeling down, I'm a f-----g human being. 'Try this.'"
He added: "Whatever this thing is. Like, nah, how about you actually feel sad and figure out what the f--k it is that got you feeling sad, so you can work on that?"