Drill has been under scrutiny since the beginning. Making it’s way to the mainstream of Youtube and other music streaming platforms in 2015/2016, it has been on a rapid rise since…
First of all, for those who are unaware of what Drill actually is…Drill is a sub-genre of Hip-Hop/Rap that actually originated from Chicago, USA. Making it’s way over to the UK, Drill is known for it’s hard and basey beats that usually contain violent themes and lyrics.
Since it has made it’s way to the mainstream of UK urban music, Drill has been slated for it’s lyrics and themes with many media/news outlets and politicians blaming it for the rise in violence among major cities in the UK. This has seen the banning of particular artists performing in certain areas and many Youtube videos getting banned for it’s content.
Krept & Konan have been at the forefront of the UK Rap game for a number of years now. They have now called for a change with politicians and hierarchies within the news world to realise that banning Drill will not make a difference to the violence…In fact, it will make it worse.
In their latest track, Krept & Konan gain some influence from Rapman to tell the story of a hypothetical member of society that gets involved in gang activity, sent to jail but see’s a way out with music. Rapman also directed the music video for the track. Krept & Konan want to get the message out that Drill can take young artists away from gang activity, getting sent to jail or even worse.
Since the release, Konan has written an article for the Guardian newspaper, explaining how music has actually saved his life and taken him away from the violence in the areas that he was brought up in. Konan states:
But hearing their lyrics didn’t make me want to go out and hurt people, sell drugs and go back to jail. It made me even more empowered to make my life successful in a positive, legal, creative way.
In January of this year, Skengdo & AM were sentenced to 9 months in jail (suspended for 2 years) due to playing a banned song in London. This is the first time this has happened in musical history.
At the end of the day, Rap/Hip-Hop/Drill and all other genres of music are about the artist expressing themselves. Story-telling has been at the centre of music making for hundreds of years and these stories, whether real or fake, have usually been created through the artists personal experiences. This is the exact same for Drill. Many of these artists have been brought up in rough and violent areas of major cities such as London and Birmingham. Drill or any other genre of music is just a way for people to express themselves. Yes, it would be naive to say that Drill is not violent but at the end of the day, as stated before, these artists are only explaining their own personal experiences through music.
Throughout history, Hip-Hop/Rap/Garage/Grime and now Drill have come under scrutiny for it’s lyrics but what people do not realise…It is relevant in all genres of music with, for example, Rock music being known for it’s violent and dark themes and lyrics. A study was conducted to see how Pop music and other genres contain violent lyrics and have dark subject matters. The study entitled “Undressing the Words: Prevalence of Profanity, Misogyny, Violence, and Gender Role References in Popular Music from 2006-2016” was conducted by Cynthia Frisby and Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz of the University of Missouri. They found that the most popular Pop records contain violent lyrics and topics and that nearly 100% of the Pop songs that were analysed, were found to have referred to violent themes and subject matters.
Drill is being used as a scapegoat and as a result, many artists are feeling the wrath of a misinformed and uneducated political regime. These artists that can go on to being a success and an influence to young people are being prevented from doing so. The track and music video has clearly grabbed the attention of the hierarchies…
Watch the short film/music video to “Ban Drill” below:
Listen to “Ban Drill” on Spotify below: