Listen to Radio 4 Talk UK drill music on Today programme

Lately, drill songs was linked to violence and gang warfare, using Pastor Ryan King blaming the subgenre for an increase in murders in north London. Judges recently courtroom trials have linked drill audio into violence, and the father of Jermaine Goupall — a 15-year-old boy stabbed to death in south London — branded that the subgenre as “demonic”.

On this morning (9 April) episode of the current programme, BBC Radio 4 talked about whether drill audio does, really, encourage violence, with hints that the subgenre can “pump up you to be barbarous”. The question had been asked: “Can drill really encourage violence or just reflect life on some estates?”

DJ Bempah appeared on the show, asserting for the latter view, stating drill audio “can not force your hands to commit” acts of violence, as well as the 2 factors bear no significance. He stated, “If that’s what you see in your environment and you are an artist, that’s exactly what you depict.”

James Treadwell, Professor of Criminology at Staffordshire University analyzed the connection, noting there’s a “nihilistic, hedonistic overtone to drill songs”, but that “maybe we ought to be talking about the coverage of austerity”. He also called the murder of Goupall a isolated instance, with music often overlapping with youth culture and social anxieties. He emphasized how drill   is “about self-interest in certain ways, it’s all about money and materialism”, nevertheless these values are prominent in all tiers of classes.

“It’s very, very easy to turn on the young men on the streets and say, look at how their values are but these are only the same values to many in the political course and the banker course,” he further added.

Listen to the full episode here. The conversation begins at about the 2:40:30 mark.