UK drill music – an aggressive type of rap whose lifeblood is its capacity to be intensively shared over social media – is colonising the digital airwaves and imaginations of teenagers.
Conceived in Chicago, before cross-pollinating via the internet to the social housing estates of south London, it is now normal for British artists – like 67 (“six-seven”), Loski or SL – to achieve millions of views on YouTube.
Great” Just what we need, an ‘aggressive type of rap’. Isn’t the usual stuff aggressive enough?
For many disenfranchised groups of young men in particular, drill is the soundtrack to local life.
In drill’s lyrical content, embedded within artists’ bleak commentary about inner-city life, exists a vocabulary used to talk about the prevalence of violence and knives in their community. “Dip”, “ching”, “splash”, “chef”, “wet”, “juice” and “poke” are all words use to describe stabbing.
Ah, how vibrant and diverse! Should we castigate the yoof who think this is the way to behave?
Why, no, of course we shouldn’t! This is the ‘Guardian’, after all….
…if a boy who has barely entered his teens feels moved to bring a knife into school, that is our societal failure – as parents, citizens, educators and policy-makers – not his personal one, nor that of the music he is listening to.
With attitudes like that, it’s no wonder that the street scum see no need to change. We can only hope this cretin has nothing to do with work to resolve street crime issues.
Ciaran Thapar is a youth worker and writer based in south London