UK Drill can teach us all a huge lesson

There’s something really valuable behind those gruesome lyrics

Aeron Davies
3 min readOct 18, 2020

There are two kinds of people in this world…

  1. One’s who love drill (me)
  2. One’s who don’t

That’s right, it’s a marmite scenario!

But seriously, the gory, detailed threats and acts of violence in drill tracks can be quite disgusting for many listeners. Yet many youngsters find it quite appealing.

For me, I admire the movement. Not so much the imagery, but how the UK is now retaining the title of dominating the music industry.

But we can go one step further though.

We enjoy music because it resonates with us

To all the surface level drill listeners…

Yes it insights violence. Yes it glorifies drug abuse. And yes it’s not bringing peace. However, this is not the core issue.

This country is becoming increasingly darker. With knife crime at an all time high, so many are quick to point the finger at youth culture without even giving it any thought.

Here’s a little quiz:

  1. Is Drill influencing people to murder?


2. Is the crime increase causing more people to relate to Drill, therefore pushing it to the mainstream?

Of course, not everyone who likes drill are murderers, but it’s still a reflection of the dark mindset many young people are in.

I personally believe that Drill music is a fantastic art movement, however the fact that we enjoy listening to people rapping about the brutal stabbings of an 18 year old girl should be quite alarming (socially).

I’ll just compare two lyrics from a mainstream Grime track in 2004 and an equally mainstream drill track from 2014:

Wiley, Pick U R Self Up

“Get some drive in your body, don’t feel sorry for yourself just move your body and set your goals, and score.”


“Benadryl, that’s what I use to cut the kuff and sorry to deceive ya, none of my cats had any complaints, none of them had hay fever either. I’m in a vauxhall with riffa, with a half a box of shiffa.”

These artists may be from different genres, but both have been renowned for their drug abuse and gang violence.

Drill is essentially grime’s violent little baby, and now we’re starting to give it all the attention.

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But it’s not even real

You might hate me for saying this but, that CASISDEAD verse is pretty awesome.

Want to know why?

Because we can assume it isn’t true.

Just like WWE, these violent lyrics and videos are being played by characters, for all we know anyway.

“They need to have little warnings that say, ‘This is not real life, this is not true, this is just entertainment — like in a film’. These are people playing a role and you shouldn’t take them too serious,” — AM

We loved Slim shady’s incestual verses because they weren’t real, they were motivated by a fake persona that was carefully crafted extremely creatively. That’s why we loved him.

The most successful drill artists are not murderers, they’re artists who use music to escape that lifestyle. They do so by rapping about how they feel.

We need Drill!

Okay Drill isn’t exactly in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs just yet, but I’d say that being introduced to the other side of life that many of us pretend doesn’t exist is mindful and vital.

The society that considers a murder of a young boy as ‘just another stabbing’.

This music constantly reminds us that there are council estates that thrive off of gangs, murder and drug abuse, so much that it’s the norm.

The rappers may glorify the lifestyle, but they’re bringing it to light. In theory, these poor communities will face less neglect, and more empathy.

Related article: Why we should listen to much more foreign underground music


We shouldn’t blame the listeners of drill, nor the artists themselves.

We can’t and shouldn’t change what people like, but we can change what they get influenced by in the future.

Trying to crack down on drill is kind of like trying to put out a fire 10 metres away from the source.

It might indirectly be contributing to knife crime, but the genre’s popularity is as a result of something bigger. (Politics, social issues, an economics)

Thank you for reading!