The war on drill music is a war on free speech

A rapper has been banned from using certain words in his music.



A rapper has been banned from using certain words in his music. And if that doesn’t worry you, then you don’t care about freedom of speech.

As the Guardian reports this morning, London drill rapper Rico Racks, real name Ervine Kimpalu, has been jailed for three years for drug offences and issued with an order that forbids him from using certain words in his music – including ‘bandoe (a house used for drug dealing and consumption), trapping (dealing), and connect (a drugs contact)’.

Kimpalu had pleaded guilty to supplying class-A drugs and possessing criminal property in the form of cash. But that is no justification for banning him from talking about such exploits in his music. People should be punished for what they do, not what they say – and certainly not what they choose to talk about in their creative endeavours. That this even needs to be said is worrying.

This isn’t the first case like this. The British state’s war on drill music – a dark, often nihilistic genre of rap – has been building over the past year, as Fraser Myers has covered on spiked. The Metropolitan Police have ordered YouTube to take down certain drill videos. Last year, in an unprecedented move, a court order banned five members of drill group 1011 from making music without first getting permission from the police. In February, drill artists Skengdo and AM were sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, for the ‘crime’ of performing a song.

Anyone who is serious about defending free speech should get serious about defending drill.

Picture by: YouTube

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Roger Jago

23rd October 2019 at 6:20 pm

As an oldie who has lived through 8 decades of changes in our society, I have never lost my belief in freedom of speech. However, I am concerned at the take-over , and loss of our English culture, through alien values being implanted by certain immigrant groups; these cannot be allowed to bury our national culture, in the pretence of freedom of speech. There needs to be a body of authority (not being the police force) to maintain acceptable standards in what are the limits.

Ven Oods

24th October 2019 at 6:51 pm

“However, I am concerned at the take-over , and loss of our English culture, through alien values being implanted by certain immigrant groups..”

Since the likes of Stormzy and K West now headline UK music festivals, I think that ship has already sailed. The gas is out of the canister and won’t go back.

michael savell

21st October 2019 at 5:14 pm

On the other hand we could just pinch any assets from their work to give to old peoples homes or some long neglected vets.Similar argument.

steve moxon

21st October 2019 at 3:23 pm

Open incitement to serious crime deserves what’s coming to it; especially when it is a whole sub-culture — that has been protected through having a ‘PC’ ‘protected characteristic’.
Bring on real ‘drill’ music: the sound of boring into the heads of the gangsters posing as musos, instead of them boring us with their appalling non-music.

Jim Lawrie

21st October 2019 at 3:35 pm

We’ll see how he feels after his аrse has been stretched for 3 years in jail.

Andrew Best

21st October 2019 at 2:56 pm

Should they not ban it because it’s crap?
I listen to metal and they sing about the devil but we are not devil worshippers but they are violent gang members and drug dealers so f**k them

Ricky Forbes

21st October 2019 at 2:35 pm

Ed Turnbull. This is your final warning.

From now on….. James Tookpart and Persontovani.

Ed Turnbull

21st October 2019 at 2:05 pm

You need permission from the rozzers write songs now? FFS! In what way can this be called a free country any longer? I carry no torch for ‘drill’ (I think it, like most rap, sounds bloody awful), but people must be free to create in that musical genre if that’s their thing.

In these oh so woke metoo times what bits of existing music can we expect to be memory-holed because the wokerati deem them ‘problematic’? Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs” (underage BDSM)? Kenny Rogers’ “Coward of the County” (gang rape)? Rush’s “Red Barchetta” (a hymn to the car, and a condemnation of the oppressive state)? What’ll we be left with? James Last and Mantovani?

Jim Lawrie

21st October 2019 at 12:44 pm

A basic tenet of our legal system is that a criminal must not benefit from his crimes.

Without the sanction of removing free speech, freedom of association and indeed freedom itself then there is no criminal justice system.

steve moxon

21st October 2019 at 3:20 pm


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