Five members of UK drill group 1011 have been banned from making drill music without police permission following a new and unprecedented court order was passed last week.
The criminal behaviour order (CBO) has specifically banned five young west London residents – Micah Bedeau, Jordean Bedeau, Yonas Girma, Isaac Marshall and Rhys Herbert – from making drill without permission after police claimed the London-rooted style of rap music incited violence. Now, the men will have to inform police 24 hours in advance of any new drill video being placed online and will have to give 48 hours notice of the time and location of an performance.
The youths are members of Ladbroke Grove based gang, 1011, whose drill videos on YouTube had garnered over a million views prior to their deletion last month among those by other drill producers.
Last November the group were stopped by police while carrying machetes, knives and baseball bats. It was suspected that they were en route to threaten or attack a rival gang in Shepherd’s Bush. While at the time they claimed that the weapons were props intended to be featured in a drill video, they told Kingston Crown Court on Friday 1st June that they had in fact been intended to cause violence.
While the style of music is known to contain violent lyrics, direct references to drugs and weapons and threats to rival gangs, the unprecedented move by the police has been criticised as being “ineffective, impractical and unjust” by Youth worker and writer Ciaran Thapar when speaking to The Independent.
“Those boys are still going to be finding ways of communicating their disaffection; they’ll just find ways that are less detectable,” he said. ““Drill music hasn’t been detectable to the mainstream audience because no one’s been bothering to look at it for three or four years. All that ignoring what it’s saying and suppressing it is going to do is push it further down and it will pop up in more extreme places.”
“I would say policing social media rather than a type of music is a way more of objective, legal-based solution that doesn’t discriminate against the music,” he added, while acknowledging the references to violence within the music. “There’s a lot of music being made by, most of the time, young people that have no other investment or way out of poverty. [Banning drill] is not just and it’s not going to be useful.”
Following the initial deletion of their videos, 1011 set up a petition calling for their work to be restored.
All of this comes in the midst of an ongoing debate surrounding the alleged links between grime and drill music to violent crime in London. As the debate has progressed, members of the London music community have been invited to the house of commons to discuss the matter.
"There's a clear correlation between the success of black music and artists of colour, and the dogged determination of the media to paint young people and their potential role models negatively," said Harjeet Sahota, a member of the London Independent Youth Safety Advisory Board, as reported by RA. "It's patronising and damaging. When we look at the subject matter of our favourite genres — such as grime and drill — it's drug, sex and violence, which is not unique to these genres."