Artist News

Krept & Konan take part in parliamentary debate on the criminalisation of drill rappers

By | Published on Thursday 20 June 2019

Krept & Konan

Rappers Krept, Konan, Skengdo and AM took part in a debate at the Houses Of Parliament earlier this week on the criminalisation of drill artists. Also speaking were Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and journalists Hattie Collins and Symeon Brown.

Krept & Konan have been very outspoken about police action against rappers in the UK drill scene, of course, recently launching a petition calling on officers to stop using the Serious Crime Act to silence drill artists. They also recently released new track ‘Ban Drill’, which tells the fictionalised story of an artist attempting to leave a life of crime through music, only to find this avenue closed off by police as things start to take off.

The story told in that track is similar in some respects to the actual story of Skengdo & AM, who earlier this year were jailed for breaching an injunction that barred them from performing their track ‘Attempted 1.0’.

Speaking at the event, AM said: “With music, we thought ‘this is it, this is what’s going to change it for us’. Because at one point there was nothing, there was no hope – we were going to stick it out for as long as we could, just trying to stay alive”.

“It’s very unfair”, he went on, “for the police to be finding strategies to stop our income coming through and it’s almost an incentive to get money another way. They need to be looking at other solutions and allocating money and opportunities in the right places”.

Krept added: “There was violence before drill. If we stop drill right now, is it going to end? Drill is being used as a scapegoat. We need to tackle the situation with alternative routes. We need support. We need to invest in our communities. Invest in things that will help these young kids, teach them new things, how to do other things. Stopping them from doing things they like, when music is a way out, is not going to help the situation”.

Needing to sit a little on the fence in her position as an MP and Shadow Home Secretary, Abbott nonetheless agreed that simply blaming a genre of music for violence in the community is not the way forward. “Drill music can be violent, and I have to be clear, when [artists] do directly incite violence then the police should investigate”, she said. “However, we do know that the root cause of violence on our streets is much wider than music”.

The debate was followed by a Q&A session with the audience comprised of young members of Diane Abbott’s constituency, Hackney North and Stoke Newington.