An opinion piece by Isaiah
Music has an effect on people, yes, but to what extent does this effect lead people to act out. In this article, I will explore the different sides of the drill music debate, discussing why it is good, why it may be bad and try to clear up some misconceptions about the genre.
Drill music is an art. Throughout time people have come across art in many forms, some perceive pieces of art as beautiful and some ugly, some are inspiring and some have no effect at all. But who is to blame for the way people perceive art? Surely not the artist and surely not the art. You see, art never changes, once the artist creates a piece it doesn’t change or vary, but the way that people take it in does. The consumer is at fault for the way that they consume it. In music terms, we all see love songs as a form of art, but we never blame them for influencing breakups, unrealistic expectations of love and in the extreme, death. So why do we blame drill music for violence? Surely there should be a link between love songs and divorce if there is a link between drill music and murder.
We all have our ways of expressing ourselves, in the simplest term drill is music. Music is a way that one expresses themselves and for that reason, it is a positive thing. Expression promotes freedom, when drill rappers rap, they’re letting out what is inside of their hearts and minds. One of the worst things in life is to have to keep everything in your mind without having a way to say it.
Whether you like it or not, drill music is taking more kids off of the streets than it is provoking them to get onto the streets. As a young person from one of the most dangerous areas in London, I can see the real picture. Drill music gives people opportunities that they cannot find elsewhere. I have seen so many people find themselves through drill music, rapping and producing. We’ve seen multiple artists from the scene make names for themselves and sell out huge venues.
Drill music is violent, to say the least. Yes, it is an art, but it is violent. The lyrics, the visuals, the beats. To the common ear, drill music would be very unpleasant to listen to due to its violent nature. Lyrics often discuss murders, drugs and intent to harm. All of this makes drill a target to be criticised. The dark and deep meaning of the music makes it hard to understand why people enjoy it. Drill music glorifies violence and criminal activity, this is never a good thing. We pointed the finger at call of duty, we pointed it at grand theft auto and now we must point it at drill.
There is a real-life crisis at hand and drill music is not helping both the crisis and itself. For this point it is hard to point fingers, do we blame the government for the violence in the UK? Do we blame the drill artists for being popular at the wrong time? Drill is doing itself no favours by being so prevalent in this time in the UK. It seems to be the classic case of wrong place wrong time. It is tough to blame drill music but there are clear links to news stories and drill lyrics.
“Drill music is the reason why people are in the streets and the reason why more people are being murdered”
FALSE. With or without drill music, Gangs and violence will still exist, we’d just find something else to blame for the violence.
“Drill music has nothing to do with the violence”
FALSE. As a hardcore fan of something it is easy to be brainwashed by it and defend it to the grave, as I do with Manchester United, but sometimes we have to open our eyes and put our hands up. In most cases, Drill music is a form of creative snitching, but you can’t ever prove it. A lot of drill music is based on past experiences, so taking it away won’t change anything in the past nor will it significantly decrease the violence in the future. I wonder what goes through an attackers mind when they’re hurting somebody, I don’t think it is drill lyrics.
“Drill music is just a scapegoat for the media”
TRUE. Right-wing journalists look away now. We’ve seen the media do everything and blame anyone who they can for the rise in violence. From Raheem Sterling’s gun tattoo to tracksuits. If it isn’t one thing it is the other and in this current time, it is drill music. The media will have a new scapegoat sooner or later.