UK Drill Music, what is it all about and why the hype?
Drill Music is suggested to have originated in South Chicago in the US around 2010/11 and to understand it even more so you have to go back to the 90's where the US found its origin of Drill Music, which is from an alternative version of American rap music known as Trap.
Brixton in South London was where it all began for UK Drill Music and it quickly began to gain ground and popularity. It is understood that during the time around 2014 the UK Drill Music scene really began to grow and spread across the nation through various platforms of social media and mainstream radio stations such as BBC Radio 1Xrta. It was around the year 2018 the UK Drill Music scene had quickly seen the rise of names such as KO, K-Trap and Headie One, to name a few, are just a few of the main players on the UK Drill Music scene whose following continues to grow, as like the genre does in today's modern world of music.
Being part of a different generation as an 80’s baby and a 90’s and 00’s child I personally don’t have a connection or general like for the genre, but as insignificant this may be, why do young people love Drill so much? It has been suggested that Drill Music is a key contributor to the sheer violence between young people across the capital of the UK as knife crime still claims so many young lives of young people in London alone. When I think back to the Hip Hop music that was out during my teenage years, it is undeniable that they do have some common ground with the content of Drill. Listening to likes of DRE, SNOOP, NAZ, NWA and alike, could suggest that the violence and gang references used in their lyrics are no different than the content involved in Drill Music today. As this maybe, I really don’t feel that music from Hip Hop is on the same page at all. Although I'm a total novice when it comes to Drill Music, from what I have experienced contains young lads wearing padded black coats with their faces covered by ski masks, bandannas or balaclavas, pointing at the camera using urban slang, usually insulting rival gangs and referencing drugs and stabbings involved in London's urban scene.
I work with complex and challenging young people on a day to day basis, with some heavily involved in the gang culture in London’s criminal underworld. They are constantly reciting lyrics from Drill Music produced by associate gangs, usually insulting rival gangs with aggressive and violent content. One of the reasons as to why they cover their faces is to protect their ID, as if identified by a rival gang member, usually on some sort of social media, could result with them losing their life from a knife attack in retaliation...which is not uncommon.
Is Drill something I could get into overtime, I’m really not sure, but if put on the spot, would choose not to. The fact it is proving popular with today's youth is undeniable, especially young people living across the vast amount of urban scenes in the UK alone. As I write this blog with the mention of DRE, SNOOP etc. I can’t help but feel hypocritical as both genres of Drill and Hip Hop have similar trends. I just cannot feel the same vibe as I get from the Hip Hop that I used to listen to from back in the day with the current trend of today's popular Drill Music.