London Sees Surge in Stabbing-Related Incidents Across City

In August 2019, six individuals belonging to the Agar Grove gang in North London killed Alex Smith, a 16-year-old teenager.

Drill music, a nihilistic style of rap that celebrates gang violence, is often the driving force for the group’s cruelty. Siyad Mohamud and Tariq Monteiro, two criminals, were sentenced to life in prison after creating and sharing a drill rap in honor of their murderous act. A pair of other gang members disappeared after escaping to Somalia.

Rappers, known as “drills,” typically identify with gangs and document gang life, drug use, and violence in their areas. This may be an attractive quality to young guys who are looking for positive male role models. They use social media sites like Snapchat to show where their opponents are.

Policy Exchange, a conservative research organization, has shown that at least one-third of gang-related murders in 2019 were accompanied by drill music. Drills have become a common way for people to express their anger and dissatisfaction.

A lot of drill musicians are celebrating, maintaining, and even making money off of violence in their music. Since rappers can only get record agreements and sponsorship deals about their level of live performance, authenticity is the driving factor behind the dramatic increase in criminal activity. Rappers feel the constant need to establish their legitimacy through violent acts.

Many drill artists’ views come from American followers, who also rake in money from ads on other social media sites. The increased scrutiny worldwide makes young Londoners feel even more pressured to act violently.

Headie One, who spent three terms in jail for distributing crack and heroin, and his new track with Stormzy are examples of the dangerous drill music culture that young boys are exposed to.

Tottenham native Headie One’s life story exemplifies the perils of drill music and its correlation with juvenile delinquency. Following his fourth incarceration, he was accused of impeding police and possession of a lock knife following a stop and search in Tottenham.

According to a trauma unit nurse in central London, some of the victims of stabbings are as little as ten years old.