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How the media misrepresents UK Rap

Drill music was the face of the news and one of the most controversial discussions in the media last year, which was stamped as the core reason for the increase of remorseless violence, knife and gun crime. This is one of many times UK rap has been used as a scapegoat for the negative events occurring in society.  

We hardly see the media praise the positive things which UK rap brings to our society. UK rap has been heavily misrepresented in the media. There has been a lack of positivity which has been portrayed in the media and a lack of representing UK rap as a form of social solidarity; music brings people together.   

Knife crime and gun crime has been a huge issue before drill music existed, so why is Drill music so highlighted on the news, when different factors influence crime? For several drill rappers, music is a gateway for them to better their lifestyle. When you try and take away music from them, you are only encouraging them to continue their life of crime.  
 
Dimzy from rap group 67 expresses how music has changed his life on his open letter about the negativity towards drill music, “Drill music has positively changed my life in so many ways as long as music can be an outlet and form a therapy to those who create it then it will always be positive.”  
 

Drill music has very violence lyrics however it is representing the reality of the environment of many people are living in. Tottenham rapper Headie One proclaims about his lifestyle when he says “They say all a na rap about is money, jail, b**s, drillings and drugs I can barely rap about loyalty, royalty, hugs, kisses and love because I live what I rap about.” 
 
There is a need for actively searching for solutions of the rise of knife crime and gun crime instead of pointing the finger at artists and a genre of music. There are many other factors which influence crime such as; broken homes, reducing youth clubs, deprived communities and many more.   
 
There have been 81 youth clubs and council’s youth’s projects have been shut down since 2011 in London. In addition, minimum 12,700 places for young people have vanished. This shows great youth services help stop young people from getting into crime as they are preoccupying themselves with positive things to do whilst at these youth clubs, they are taught the importance of community and how their future is in their hands. 
  
Instead of the media actively accusing drill music of the rise of the knife and gun crime, Drill music can be shown as a cry for help as a community we need to tackle the issues they are facing. YouTube has removed more than half of the drill music video that the Scotland Yard wanted to be deleted.  

In the early 2000s grime had experienced the restriction before it was accepted into mainstream music.  Grime was blamed for violence a common example is Lethal Bizzle’s ‘pow.’ In 2014, it was banned from several clubs even commercial radio station because it was accused of causing pandemonium. Lethal Bizzle believes, “the music is taking us away from that environment if anything it is a positive thing to come away from that and try and change your life.”  
  
There are artists who use their platform to address issues within our society. East London rapper Kojo Funds music video ‘Stallin’ represents the decisions young people make which shapes their lifestyle while challenging the thoughts of the audience. Singer Ray Blk uses her song ‘Run Run’ portraying her own views on the high crime rate in London last year. She proclaimed the song was motivated through “real-life events.”   
 
It can be extremely frustrating for artists who want to take music seriously but their shows are shut down. Shutting down of shows is only preventing the artist’s opportunities. The Metropolitan police did everything in their power to prevent the North West rapper Nines from performing. Officers detained and stopped him from entering Wireless Festival to perform with Tory Lanez and he was not even allowed to attend Mist show at the O2. Now, he is finally allowed to do shows, he was able to sell out his first UK tour and performed to Anthony Joshua’s ring walk song, who knocked out Alexander Povetkin at his fight at Wembley Stadium. This demonstrates the positivity music brings when artists have full access to do their music career.  
  
There are numerous artists which music has impacted them positively and the people around them. Dave and Fredo made history through their track entitled ‘Funky Friday’ by achieving their first number 1 in the top 40 official UK Chart. This is a very special moment for British music. Dave
expressed his gratitude by saying, “I don’t have enough words to thank everybody who’s helped us get here and been a part of this. But this is for us. Not for me. For this country and music that we’re making all the obstacles we’ve had to overcome.” Dave continues to achieve greatness as his debuted album entitled Psychodrama hits number 1 on the Official Albums Chart. 
 

Rapman who was the creator of the award-winning music video ‘Shiro’s Story’ and signed to Roc-Nation (Jay Z’s label), mentioned on Good Morning Britain, “there are a lot of people doing amazing things but because it is not mainstream and the only thing we got in the mainstream is negative but we need to put the positive here as well.”
  
Stormzy has given two scholarships to fund black UK students who want to go to the University of Cambridge. This is very inspirational as he used his successful music career to support students. Additionally, M Huncho did a sold-out charity show for nations where innocent people who are going through traumatising situation due to civil war. These are such great things which these artists are doing and should be shown on the news.  

  
I believe rap has such positive effects on the artists and the people around them. It gives a life-changing opportunity which can give anybody hope regardless of their situation. This shows our music scene has so much to offer to our society and it will continue to grow to strength to strength. It will only be a matter of time when the media and mainstream will accept our UK music scene for what it is.

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