Drill and the Rise of African Pop Music

Picture of informed

Curated by informed

An excursion into drill rap and a new wave of African popular music.

  • Drill is a subgenre of trap music characterised by extraordinarily violent, threatening and nihilistic lyrics and ominous, bleak beats, a style that originated in Chicago in the early 2010s.
  • There have been controversial attempts of police clampdowns on the UK’s drill music scene, aimed at disrupting a subculture that is said to glamourise gang violence and to even have inspired murder.
  • Some UK drill artists have been banned from performing certain songs, with two rappers even being handed prison sentences for playing one of their songs at a concert in violation of a gang injunction.
  • The criminalisation of drill crews has been criticised as a violation of personal liberty, but a growing number of politicians are speaking out in favour of banning drill content deemed too violent.
  • Drill has inspired various African socially conscious subgenres, and has long entered the mainstream, enjoying huge popularity alongside other popular African music such as Nigerian Afrobeats.
  • Sensational streaming figures of particularly West African music videos on YouTube and other platforms are hammering home that pop music from the continent is taking the world by storm.
The Guardian
+ 4 more

5 articles on this topic

New York Post

Inside drill rap, the ultra-violent genre NYC's mayor wants to shut down

5 min read

How Drill Soundtracks Life for Kenyan Youth

6 min read

Asakaa: How drill music found a new home in Ghana

4 min read
i News

K-pop, Egyptian hip hop & Afrobeat stars eclipse Western artists as BTS top world music chart

article image
2 min read