In light of the recent sentencing of ‘Croydon’s zombie knife attacker’ and yesterday’s Gravel Hill brawl in which three people were stabbed, it is more than apparent that knife crime is on the rise. But, why is this?

Many young people today are looking to social media outlets as a source of socialisation. Whilst the media can be good for teaching us certain things it is also quite clear that there are undesirable characteristics which can be learned from it. According to a report published by the Sunday Times, ‘murders and stabbings plaguing London and other cities are directly linked to an ultra-violent new form of music sweeping Britain’- this being drill music.

Drill music is a style of trap music defined especially by its dark and violent lyrics and in accordance to Labour MP Harriet Harman ‘drill music does influence [and] glorify gang warfare’. But to what extent is this actually true?

Psychological research such as that of Albert Bandura et al (1961) shows the implications of portraying violence in the media, as children- and even some adults- can become influenced by the violence and aggression. Despite this, drill artists such as Skengdo and AM has noted that ‘video censorship does not make sense’ and that ‘there’s just no evidence that censorship is going to stop any crime’. Both artists have recently been sentenced to 9 months in prison, suspended for two years for performing their song ‘Attempted 1.0’ at a concert in December. The song itself features lyrics such as ‘If you lack you’re gonna die’, and makes numerous references to getting ‘cheffed’- slang terminology for getting stabbed. What do you think?

In light of this however, it is critical to question whether drill artists such as Skengdo, AM and many others should be sentenced for making music that simply expresses and reflects their life experiences. It is even more important to question to what extent does drill music actually make our society more violent. Is the rise in popularity of drill music and knife crime simply a correlation or an actual association?