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The Drill, this new phenomenon invading England and the world's musical stage

  •   3 min reads
The Drill, this new phenomenon invading England and the world's musical stage

For some months now, a new ‘virus’ has been spreading around the world. A new musical wave, dancing and violent : the Drill.

Drill is the most shocking, provoking and dangerous artistic movement in the world. In fact, we can often see a large number of drill clips and songs being deleted, and also some concerts cancelled. These fears come from the rappers and what they stand for. Indeed, Drill rappers often find themselves charged or incarcerated, for murder, drug trafficking or armed settlements. However, the drill movement is one of the most influential music genre at the moment. It influences very famous rappers like Drake or Travis Scott in America, and it enables different new generation rappers to emerge like Harlem Spartans (in the UK), or 667 (in France). Let’s dive into the Drill universe to understand how and where it appeared, and the differences compared to other rap styles.

Born in Chicago…

The story starts at the beginning of the 2010s in Chicago, especially in the South side, where the drill first appeared. « Initially this type of music reflected the violence in Chicago with gang warfare, murders and provocations », explains Mady Diabaté, a musical specialist, who has some experiences in different French labels. At the beginning Drill was used as a means of expression by gangs, including ‘the Black Disciples’, especially illustrated by their young star Chief Keef, who burned the world of rap at 16 years old with the single I don’t like’. Musically it seems like the others Trap singles. The difference lies within the clip and staged with gang members and guns. The young rapper makes a difference with his choice of words. He raps the real life of a gang, violent and dark. And that is what made a lot of noise. As a result, the Chicago’s drill became a worldwide reference, and Chief Keef the principal model of this new generation of rappers. At the same time, in the same place, another musician, named London Buckner and he change’s the rap history, playing percussion in a fanfare. One day he start a beatmaking and making classic trap productions. He became DJ L, and set the foundations of the drill productions. The most important difference is the instrumental parts, which is more dancing and rhythmic than the traditional Trap.

… to grow up in London

But to find the perfect combination, it’s necessary to go across the Atlantic, and to land in London. It is in Brixton, in the South of London that the UK Drill begins its evolution. The poverty affecting this area of London, for example, and the lack of prospects for its inhabitants, leading to drug dealing, theft and other violence, structured around gangs. Young rappers recognised themselves in what happened in Chicago in the daily lives of Chief Keef, Lil Durk, and others… Young Londoners decided to adopt the same style of rap, but with their own codes. A package composed of a down jacket gloves, scarf, hood and a knife like weapon. The hood is the most important and newest element because it allows rappers to not to be recognised by the police, especially for gang members. Secondly, the hood creates mystery with a dangerous and charismatic aura. The London’s beat makers produce add 808 glides (the component that gives the bass to an instrumental part). A big success in the rap world ! "Musically we find a Caribbean atmosphere and and a difference with the foreign accents of different rappers." notes Mady. Brixton rappers put their best verses on it, and a new wave of Drill appeared. In 2017, the UK Drill became very famous with ‘Man’s not hot’ by Big Shaq, and 353 million views on YouTube.

« People have taken up the codes without saying the same words and without living them »

Inspired by the Londoners productions, the new Americans rappers mixed the ultra-dark side of London with the traditional gangsta American rap and festive side to make dance the world on its. One man specifically succeed : Bachar Baraka Jackson aka Pop Smoke. He brings this music genre to the general public in radios and clubs, particularly with two big hits : ‘Welcome to the Party’ and ‘Dior’. From UK drill to Pop Smoke, today the drill movement is international. « It's amazing because drill is very violent and not for the general public. But people have taken up the codes without saying the same words and without living them. », thinks Mady Diabaté. Now even France tries to develop its own French Drill with rappers like Freeze Corleone, Ashe 22 or Ziak, but it’s the entire world who entered into the movement.

The Drill, just a fashion statement or a new music genre ? We may have the answer in a few years.

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