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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

UK drill is a regional subgenre of drill music and road rap that originated in the South London district of Brixton from 2012 onwards.[1][2][3] Borrowing heavily from the style of Chicago drill music, UK drill artists often rap about violent and hedonistic criminal lifestyles.[4][1] Typically, those who create this style of music are affiliated with gangs or come from socioeconomically-deprived neighborhoods where crime is a way of life for many.[1] UK drill music is closely related to road rap, a British style of gangsta rap that became popular in the years prior to the existence of drill.[2][3][5] Musically, UK drill often exhibits violent language and provocative lyrics.[4]

Origins

150, a group from Angell Town Estate, Brixton, is often credited with pioneering UK drill music. 150 members Stizzy Stickz, Grizzy, M Dargg, and Perm being dedicated exponents of the early style, along with and mentored by former members of PDC.[6][7] However, it's 67 that're often credited for shifting the sound away from Chicago influences it seemed to heavily draw inspiration from in its early days and foundation, and forming a more homegrown sound. Producers Carns Hill[8] (who crafted instrumentals for many of 67's early songs), and QUIETPVCK (who worked closely by 150, 410, Uptop members in their early era) are widely considered to be two of the main pioneering producers of the genre with their unique and innovative alternatives to the Chicago Drill sound.[7]

Characteristics

UK drill has developed a different production style than Chicago drill taking influence from earlier British genres such as grime and UK garage so much so that it has been called "the New Grime" and drill producer Carns Hill has commented that it needs a new name. However, Mazza, a UK drill producer, disagreed with the "new grime" label, maintaining that although drill and grime share the same energy, rawness, and originated in a similar fashion, the two genres are distinct in their own ways.[9] UK drill is generally more fast-paced compared to its Chicago counterpart. UK drill beats are generally structured around a triplet hihat pattern, with snares landing on the fourth beat instead of the third every 2 bars. Instrumentals often also have a sliding bass, hard hitting kicks, and dark melodies. AXL Beats explained that the 808's and fast-tempo snares are derivative of grime music.[10][11] Both genres typically utilise a tempo of approximately 138-151bpm.[12][13]

Autotune, unlike American drill, is largely absent within UK drill with British drill artists utilising a much harsher and stripped-back delivery indebted to grime and earlier road rap. UK drill rappers have also taken on a more allusive, ironic lyrical style; taken on mainly because of the attention attracted from the mainstream media, and also the police; due to its previously much more brazen and direct nature.[2]

Culture

UK drill groups often engage in disputes with each other sometimes violent often releasing multiple disrespectful tracks. Notable disputes include Harlem Spartans versus 410, Zone 2 versus Moscow 17,[3] 150 versus 67,[3] OFB/NPK[14] versus WG/N9 and SMG versus 814 (a member of 814, Showkey, was stabbed to death in 2016 in an unrelated incident[15]).

UK drill received widespread attention outside of Britain in 2017 when comedian Michael Dapaah released the novelty song "Man's Not Hot". The track samples a beat made by UK drill producers GottiOnEm and Mazza; it was first used by drill group 86 on its song "Lurk", and later 67 with "Let's Lurk" featuring Giggs.[16][17][18]

Controversy

The genre's violent lyrics have been cited by police, MPs, journalists and others in positions of potentially significant influence as the reason for a climb in the rate of knife crimes in London.[19][20] In one instance, then 17-year-old rapper Junior Simpson, better known as M-Trap, who had written lyrics about knife attacks, was part of a four-person group that stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death, for which he received a life sentence.[21] Judge Anthony Leonard QC told Simpson, "You suggested [the lyrics] were just for show but I do not believe that, and I suspect you were waiting for the right opportunity for an attack."[21]

In May 2018, YouTube reported that it had deleted more than half of the "violent" music videos identified by senior police officers as problematic. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick blamed some videos for fuelling a surge in murders and violent crime in London, singling out drill music. YouTube said that more than 30 clips had been removed. The cause of the deletion of UK drill videos drive from a stop and search done on the West London gang 1011 (today known as CGM), where they were reported to be on a ride out to retaliate against the opposition. Banning drill caused outrage in the community and caused a slight lull in production of the music.[22]

In 2018, FACT magazine stated in an article on UK drill producers M1OnTheBeat & MKThePlug:

..."Drill is this generation's furious response against the Conservative government's decimation of state support for the most vulnerable communities under austerity".[23]

In late 2018, South London-born drill MC and aspiring Mayor of London Drillminister created a track called "Political Drillin" which was broadcast on Channel 4 News and used comments made by UK MPs attempting to highlight their own hypocrisy in using violent language.[24]

Influence

Unknown T's song "Homerton B" charted after its August 2018 release; and in doing so, became technically the first ever UK drill single to officially enter the charts. The song entered at number 83 on the Official Singles Chart Top 100 on 28 August 2018, then peaked at 48 in September 2018; putting him in the running with the likes of Drake, Travis $cott, Nicki Minaj & Eminem; world-renowned artists who also charted closely in this period, which was unheard of for a UK drill song at the time.[25]

UK drill group 67 had two entries into the official charts, however unlike the Unknown T entry, this was the albums chart and not the singles chart. They reached number 66 in the Official Albums Chart with the mixtape Let's Lurk and number 71 with the mixtape The Glorious Twelfth.[26] Although considered a predominantly trap based album which implements some drill features and elements, Section Boyz mixtape Don't Panic reached number 37 in the UK Albums Chart, later peaking at number 36 in 2015.[27]

The above entries set off a snowball effect of UK drill song entries into the Official Singles Charts, and artists being propelled closer to the British mainstream. As the songs entered the charts, more people began to find out and talk about UK drill again, thus attracting new fans to the genre, and attracting both positive and negative media attention for various reasons, keeping the genre in the limelight, and bursting the bubble the genre was confined within. This also opened up drill to UK artists of other genres more, to begin rapping over drill style instrumentals and experimenting with sounds inside of the genre, as opposed to their usual styles.

In 2020, DigDat released Ei8ht Mile. The mixtape scored the biggest opening week of all time for a UK drill album.[28]

Though a majority of UK drill artists hail from the capital[citation needed] (which can be attributed in part due to the much larger population of London, in comparison to other British cities)[citation needed], it is not restricted to London alone as the genres sole production hub in terms of emerging talents and dissemination of the sound. Artists around the country have appeared and become prominent creators within the scene, such as SmuggzyAce and S.White of Birmingham group "23 Drillas".[29]

UK drill has spread outside of the United Kingdom, with artists and groups in other countries rapping in styles and using slang terms heavily influenced by UK drill music, and using UK drill instrumentals produced by British producers. Ireland, the Netherlands, and Australia in particular have developed drill scenes that are heavily indebted to UK drill music, with artists such as OneFour in Australia,[30] Chuks & J.B2 from Dublin, Ireland,[31] and 73 De Pijp from The Netherlands.[32] New York drill music began rising to prominence in the late 2010s. New York drill, primarily based in Brooklyn, has taken influence from UK drill with artists such as Pop Smoke, Sheff G, and 22Gz collaborating with UK drill producers such as AXL Beats, Yoz Beats, Ghosty, and 808Melo.[33][34][35] 808Melo produced "Welcome to the Party" for Pop Smoke, which received a considerable amount of attention. Pop Smoke created a 9 track project produced entirely by 808 Melo and Trap House Mob (a team of UK based producers).[36][37] Artists in Spain making drill music have also taken on influence by its British counterpart, with various references and similar production to UK drill.[38]

Canadian musician Drake did a "Behind Barz" freestyle for Link Up TV in 2018 where he rapped over a UK drill beat. Drake also credited UK drill artist Loski as an influence for his 2018 album, Scorpion.[39][40] In 2019, Drake released "War". The song used UK drill's production style and was produced by British producer AXL Beats.[41][42] Drake's flow in both instances was reminiscent of UK drill artists.[41][39]

In 2020, Skengdo & AM released EU Drillas, a collaborative project that features drill artists from across Europe.[43]

In 2021, Digga D's mixtape Made in the Pyrex reached No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the highest charting project to date for a millennium-born UK rapper, and the highest-charting independent UK Drill project on the Official Chart.[44] Tion Wayne and Russ Millions released  Body, regarded as the first UK drill song to reach Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart.[45]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Get Familiar with UK Drill, the New Sound Exploding on the Streets of London". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Dazed (25 April 2017). "Inside UK Drill, London's Hyper-Local DIY Sound". Dazed. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "From Chicago to Brixton: The Surprising Rise of UK Drill". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 27 April 2017. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b "67 Interview: 'This Is Not a Gang. This Is a Brand'". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Don't Call It Road Rap: When Drill, UK Accents and Street Life Collide". Noisey. 14 June 2017. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Angell Town: The ex-gang members who have turned their lives around and are inspiring others to do the same". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  7. ^ a b "UK drill FAQ: History, facts & future of the rap genre". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  8. ^ "According To UK Rap Producer Carns Hill, His 'Drill' Sound Happened Almost By Accident". Complex. 12 October 2017. Archived from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Meet Mazza : The Producer Taking Drill to a New Level". 25 July 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  10. ^ "UK Drill: Should the rap genre change its name?". Capital XTRA. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  11. ^ "How Drake Ended Up Rapping on a Drill Beat: An Interview With "War" Producer AXL Beats". Complex. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Get Familiar With UK Drill, the New Sound Exploding on the Streets of London". Complex. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  13. ^ "From Chicago to Brixton: The Surprising Rise of UK Drill". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 27 April 2017. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Thugs rap "I got you a coffin" in sick YouTube taunt to murdered teen's family". 23 November 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Teenager arrested after 16-year-old stabbed to death". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  16. ^ Scotsman, Author The Black (25 July 2016). "Meet Mazza : The Producer Taking Drill to a New Level". Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  17. ^ Bassil, Ryan; Mokoena, Tshepo (20 December 2018). "A Guide to Explaining UK Drill to Your Family Over the Holidays". Vice. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  18. ^ McQuaid, Ian; Lanigan, Roisin (21 June 2019). "welcome to the golden age of drill". I-D. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Inside UK drill, the demonised rap representing a marginalised generation". The Independent. 15 April 2018. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  20. ^ Andrew Gilligan, Shingi Mararike, Tom Harper and (8 April 2018). "Drill, the 'demonic' music linked to rise in youth murders". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  21. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (9 April 2018). "Is UK drill music really behind London's wave of violent crime?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  22. ^ "YouTube deletes 'violent' music videos". BBC News. 29 May 2018. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Making the banned: MK The Plug and M1 on the Beat are UK drill's brightest hope". FACT. 12 August 2018. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  24. ^ Daly, Rhian (23 October 2018). "A drill MC highlights hypocrisy against genre by using violent quotes from MPs in new track 'Political Drilling'". NME. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  25. ^ "UNKNOWN T – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company (OCC). 11 July 2019. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  26. ^ "67 – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company (OCC). 11 July 2019. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  27. ^ "SECTION BOYZ – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company (OCC). 11 July 2019. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  28. ^ Charts, Official (24 January 2020). "Big news for @DigDat8 – his new mixtape Ei8ht Mile scores the biggest opening week for a UK drill album". @officialcharts. Retrieved 25 January 2020.[non-primary source needed]
  29. ^ "23 Drillas rappers taunt armed police after gangsters jailed". Birmingham Mail. 24 September 2018. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  30. ^ Fazal, Mahmood; Butler, Gavin (1 August 2019). "Behind The Scenes With OneFour: Australia's First Drill Rappers". Vice. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  31. ^ Dunn, Frankie; Gannon, Colin (21 November 2018). "could irish drill music be the next big thing?". I-D. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  32. ^ Vugts, Paul (27 December 2019). "De opkomst van Amsterdamse drillrap: 'Er is een overlap met criminaliteit'". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  33. ^ "Sheff G Made Drill the Sound of Brooklyn". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Pop Smoke Shouted Out The UK's Top Drill Producers in His Final Interview". UPROXX. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  35. ^ "These are the most exciting UK drill producers right now". DJMag.com. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Nicki Minaj Remixes Pop Smoke's "Welcome to the Party" – HYPEBEAST". hypebeast.com. 17 August 2019. Archived from the original on 20 August 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  37. ^ Bundy, Tee (30 July 2019). "Pop Smoke's Debut "Meet The Woo" Is An Introduction to a New Sound in New York City Hip-Hop". KAZI. MAGAZINE. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Drillers Without Borders". trenchtrenchtrench.com. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  39. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (19 July 2018). "Why Drake fell in love with the UK (and vice versa)". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  40. ^ "Drake is officially a UK Citizen". Heartafact. 17 April 2019. Archived from the original on 25 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  41. ^ a b "Drake Is Doing up UK Drill on New Freestyle Track "War"". VERSUS. 24 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  42. ^ "5 Biggest Takeaways From Drake's New Song "War"". Complex. Archived from the original on 24 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  43. ^ "Skengdo X AM – 'EU Drillas' review". NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  44. ^ Ainsley, Helen (5 March 2021). "Architects secure first Number 1 with For Those That Wish To Exist". Official Charts Company.
  45. ^ "Tion Wayne and Russ Millions' Body is first drill song to go to UK No 1". The Guardian | TheGuardian.com. 21 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
This page was last edited on 17 August 2021, at 20:15
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