Labelled offensive and regressive, Drill is the most controversial genre of music of this generation. Drill is rapidly increasing in popularity across different age groups, and many would consider it to be another form of artistic expression, though some people think it should be banned.

So what is Drill? Drill music is a modern version of rap, which generally talks about peoples’ experiences in poorer backgrounds surrounded by gang violence, poverty and drugs. Lyrics range from rude, aggressive and negative, displaying hatred and anger towards society and life in general, to sorrowful, remorseful and regretful, encouraging a pursuit of a better life.

Drill was initially popular in the estates of places like Croydon, Hounslow and Brixton, and was listened to mainly by teenagers and young adults. However, Drill has grown in popularity and has now spread its audience, with two songs making it into the 2021 top 40. Body, by Tion Wayne and Russ Millions, was in the top 10 most popular songs of 2021, and became the 1st ever Drill song to have the most downloads in a week. At this rate, some might consider Drill to be modern Pop music!

So why do people listen to Drill? Certain people listen to Drill because they understand the perspective of the artist, and others just because they like the beat, but there is another potential perspective, more of a psychological one, in that it makes people think they are bold, strong and cool. It would be stereotypical to suggest that all Drill lyrics are negative and angry, but rarely do you hear a genuinely happy Drill song, or a positive one. Perhaps, many who listen to it are looking to be accepted and not excluded, and by openly listening to Drill they come across as someone who is dangerous and cool.

But should Drill be banned? Many people, especially middle-aged and older people, tend to think that Drill should be banned due to its negative effects and profanity. This is a step too far. One of the main reasons people write Drill songs is to express their feelings and opinions. Denying Drill artists making their music is denying them their right to express themselves artistically, as well as making a living. As said by artists Krept and Konan in their short film ‘Ban Drill’ (can be found on YouTube, but be warned there are explicit lyrics), despite their obvious vested interest, it shows that having the ability to express themselves in lyrics helped them avoid a dark spiral of crime and sadness.

Any song with lyrics which attack people in a discriminatory way, e.g. racism, misogyny, homophobia etc, should be banned, but Drill music in general should not be. Many of the middle-aged and older people who are calling for Drill to be banned now perhaps listened to genres such as Punk, Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop, that others at the time were trying to ban.

And is Drill just a trend? The unique sound of Drill will probably be popular for a few more years, thanks to it’s rebellious and anti-authoritarian lyrics and nature. But we have seen these types of trends before, with genres like Blues, Punk and Grime. These could have been considered negative styles of music, which have now slowly been absorbed into mainstream Pop as the years have passed. Increasingly, Drill artists are being nominated for mainstream music awards such as the Grammys and the Brit Awards, and even some established artists are leaning on Drill for inspiration.

Eventually, Drill is likely to be more assimilated into R&B, and the youth will find a new and more unique genre. R&B used to just be rhythm and blues. Today, artists that range from Eminem to Ariana Grande, would all be considered R&B artists. However, I doubt the original blues artists like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters would recognise current R&B as Rhythm and Blues. The point is, music moves on, as will Drill, whether it is banned or not.