YouTube has begun a wide-ranging takedown of videos by drill artists.
The sound began in Chicago, before travelling the Atlantic and taking seed in pockets of London, melding its underground rap style to more UK centric genres in the process.
Often linked – however erroneously – to gang culture in the capital, drill has been noted for its provocative DIY style videos.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is working with YouTube and Google to take down videos that appear to popularise violence, with the drill genre gaining their focus.
More than 30 videos have been taken down so far, with Mike West from Metropolitan Police telling the BBC:
“The gangs try to outrival each other with the filming and content – what looks like a music video can actually contain explicit language with gangs threatening each other… There are gestures of violence, with hand signals suggesting they are firing weapons and graphic descriptions of what they would do to each other.”
Det Supt West told The Independent that clips which “raise the risk of violence” are being targeted, rather than drill music specifically. “We have been working with (YouTube owner) Google to take down some of the videos which they have done after approaches from us… Partnership working with organisations such as YouTube and Google is a key part of how we address this going forward and we continue to work with them to explore how we can tackle the issue.”
Drill group 1011 are among the artists who have suffered from the takedown, and have launched a petition to show support for these musicians. More than 5000 people have signed the petition since its launch only a few days ago, with the page noting:
"1011 are a fast rising collective of young talented Musicians Digga.D, Sav'O, Loose1, Horrid1, who have recently been targeted by the police with orders to STOP their PROMOTIONAL USE of YOUTUBE, Sign the PETITION and FOLLOW…"
Find the petition HERE.
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