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Song of the Day: ‘Devil That I Know’ by Jacob Banks

Name: Jacob Banks
Representing: Nigeria/England
Genre: R&B, Soul
For fans of: James Blake
Single from: N/A
Produced by: N/A
Song of the Day: October 22, 2020
Label(s): Interscope


‘Devil That I Know’, subtle as a composition, yet deep in its messaging, shows a recently married couple. As the newlyweds (Jacob Banks and his leading lady) head to their destination, a fellow driver congratulates them with a thumbs up. Next, they see a person on the side of the highway; They are holding an odd sign that reads “Welcome to the End” on the front and “Don’t Drown” on the back. The couple looks at each other, and continue to drive further, in what appears to be terror and uncertainty. Then, there is a car with people on the side of the road. As the night beings to fall, they are met by a horseman with baklava on. At some point, the groom gets out of the car. His wife joins him, and they are still. There’s a lot of symbolism in the picture. However, for the most part, it is up for your interpretation.

The lyrics made me think about my father, who I miss and think about often. I also think about how our relationship has shaped my relationships with men. There are numbness and coldness that you learn to live with until you have a reason to thaw. I’m defrosting alone, for what I hope is the most meaningful relationship of my life, but I am defrosting alone. There are so many things I wish I could ask him now, as an adult, but he isn’t living anymore. I’ll take my time, and do what I think he would tell me to do if I had the chance to ask.


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the Director of Content for Duke Concept.