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The Influence Of Drill Music On London’s Modern Culture

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The heterogeneity of London’s population has generated the development of ‘drill’ music, which originates from Chicago, North America. Attributable to the “increasing interconnectedness of societies” through globalisation, ‘drill’ music has spread to the cosmopolitan City of London. This genre of music has often been interrelated with violent, explicit, lyrical graphic content; henceforth the glorification of violence through ‘drill’ music has led to questioning the impact of drill music on London’s modern culture. In recent months, the emergence of drill music has been linked to criminal activities, e. g. the murder of rapper ‘Incognito’. The contribution of drill music towards London’s modern culture has had a negative effect, whereby there is an epidemic of gang-related crimes. Subsequently, the glamorisation of drill music via social media platforms proved to be detrimental towards the health of the younger generation. Consequently, as a way of eliminating the cynical influence of drill music on London’s modern culture, YouTube has removed drill music videos which have been perceived as belligerent by the British police.

According to the Office for National Statistics in March 2018 there was a 22% upsurge in police recorded knife or sharp instrument offences, whereas in December 2017 there was a 16% increase. Coincidentally, as drill music is becoming more prevalent towards London’s modern culture, it has caused controversy as to whether this specific genre of music contributes to the hiking patterns of knife crime. To identify the significance of drill music in London’s modern culture, the case of Siddique Kamara, or known as Incognito must be explored. It is evident that drill music has affected London’s modern culture negatively because Incognito was a part of drill rap group, Moscow17, whose lyrics include allusions to gang rivalry. In the track, “Lightwork Freestyle” Incognito states, “Zone 2 youts so I back that blade, that’s a Zone 2 b*tch and she can’t escape. ” Zone 2 is a rival gang, and Incognito brings out a weapon, whenever he sees a member from Zone 2.

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It is clear there is a correlation between drill music and crime, whereby explicitly expressive lyrical content could trigger gang members to commit heinous crimes against each other, thus depicting barbarity as a key feature of London’s modern culture. Even so, social media platforms play a key role in accentuating the influence of drill music towards London by promoting materialism. Materialism has led to a heightened sense of relative deprivation. Relative deprivation refers to people feeling disadvantaged due to the mass media’s raised expectations of owning material goods. Drill artist, ‘Fredo’s song “They Ain’t 100” epitomises the notion of endorsing a materialistic lifestyle by claiming, “My Louboutin shoes are in season […] This Samsung keeps on beating / The Shard is where I’m sleeping,” (2016, 00: 00: 51 – 00: 00: 56). Such lyrics support the idea that social media and drill music are linked because the visual content of the videos contain items which are not obtainable between the ages of 16 – 24, unless they were gained by illicit means. This supports the notion that drill music can desensitise young people to delinquency. The unresolved issue of the effect of drill music on London’s modern culture highlights its destructive nature towards the young people. In 2014, the Crime Survey for England and Wales recorded 1393 adults aged 16 – 24 who were involved with gangs. Despite the harrowing figures of crime, fans of drill music and artists claim that drill reflects their harsh reality, in which they have experienced marginalisation. Similarly, drill artist, Headie One, considers the true problem to be the government not doing enough for the young people. However, in 2018 a moral panic of knife crime surfaced due to the increasing deaths of drill artists, e. g. Latwaan Griffiths. In an attempt to tackle the issue of drill music and its damaging effect on London’s modern culture, the government has proposed a Serious Violence Strategy.

This report suggests a minority of people utilise social media by means of encouraging a transgressive lifestyle. In conclusion, drill music instigates criminality through social media platforms. The consumerist lifestyle portrayed by artists has a negative impact on London’s modern culture because they entice delinquent behaviour. Nevertheless, the degree of harm that drill music contributes towards the cumulative patterns of gang-related crimes only accounts for 24%. To gain a true understanding of how drill music affects London’s modern culture, social structures must be explored through quantitative research methods.


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