Shamir's debut album Ratchet was inspired by his experiences growing up in Las Vegas. This song is about making sacrifices to do things that make you happy, which for Shamir is making and playing music. He explained: "I had to leave a lot of things back in Vegas in order to do music – family, friends, certain trinkets I collect because I'm a very sentimental person."
"When you make music, you almost have to disappear and go deep inside yourself so that you can come back and give people something that feels honest to you. 'In For the Kill' is a song for me to show that what I'm doing is not an easy thing. It's something that I have to work hard towards."
The Anthony Sylvester directed video shows Shamir piloting an UFO that attracts the attention of the entire world. The clip is loosely inspired by the 2009 Balloon Boy hoax in which a couple claimed their six-year-old son, Falcon, was inside a homemade air balloon, which they had allowed to float away into the atmosphere.