The UK government's treatment of drill artists has been famously controversial for its heavy-handedness and seemingly random application. Artists have been banned from appearing in certain areas, associating with certain people and even from making music, with videos being removed from YouTube at a staggering rate (and, again, in a completely arbitrary fashion). So it's hardly surprising that some artists opt to wear ballies and masks when performing and appearing in music videos. The issue is reaching crisis point—if it isn't there already—but thankfully they're not giving up without a fight.
Last night, Diane Abbott MP invited a host of artists and industry figures to bring the discussion into the Houses of Parliament, including Krept & Konan, Skengdo x AM, This Is Grime author and journalist Hattie Collins, Channel 4 reporter Symeon Brown and more. During the discussion they focused on an array of issues, chief amongst them the police's approach to the genre and the Crown Prosecution Service's targeting of drill rappers.
This all came in the wake of Krept & Konan's recent short film for the track "Ban Drill". That film, which landed last week, was directed by Rapman and received a full premiere followed by a debate which would end up acting as a precursor to last night's event. For that particular debate, the rap duo and Rapman were joined by George The Poet, Headie One, Civil Rights lawyer Jude Bunting, and activist and campaigner Faron Alex Paul.
Bringing the discussion not just into the spotlight but into Parliament itself is a huge step forward for the discussion and an encouraging gesture from the Hackney MP.