Diane Abbott invites drill artists to the Houses of Parliament to discuss censorship

"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..."

19.06.19

Words by: Billy Ward

Krept and Konan and Skengdo x AM attended the Houses of Parliament in the wake of their new petition, urging the Police to stop criminalising young black artists.

Konan posted on Instagram, writing: “Yesterday we got invited to parliament by Dianne Abbot, we discussed drill music and how we could better our communities. Big thanks to Skengdo, AM, [news reporter] Symeon brown and Hattie [Collins] for joining us on the panel, hopefully this is just the start to meetings like this in parliament with young black ppl”.

The invitation came shortly after Dianne Abbot spoke out in the House of Commons about the stigma around the genre, saying: “For as long as anyone can remember people have sought to blame the music they listen to for young people’s bad behaviour.

“But let me say this. Much of that drill music and the videos are horrifying and appalling but at the end of the day the music is a reflection of the lives and the reality of those young people. It is not a cause of violent crime.”

Speaking in Westminster, Krept said: “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.”

“We know what it’s like to be in it and want to escape it, and what it feels like to be out of it,” Konan said. “I’ve seen my mum get shot, I’ve seen my stepdad die. I’ve been in jail, I’ve been in gangs. Once you step out of it you know that this is not what you are meant to be doing. We want to give people a platform to escape.”

‘Ban Drill’, the short film created by Krept and Konan showing the consequences of banning drill, has amassed over one million views on YouTube in less than a week – proving this to be a topic of high importance – and parliamentary meetings such as this one are the first vital steps in making changes to the affected communities, rather than passing the blame onto a genre of black music.

Sign the petition here

Read about how recent attempts to censor drill music have broken alarming new ground