Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip #17

Is Drill Music Misguiding Your Child?

“My fingers [are] itchin’ to catch a body …” were the cold words a young man sang as he walked passed my bed area, bobbing his head and dancing to his drill music (modern day gangster rap). As I sat on my bottom bunk and reflected on what I had just heard, I realized how drill music has influenced the rational thinking of young minorities, incorporating violence in their perception of life. As the young man continued dancing and singing aloud throughout the dormitory, another thought crossed my mind: drill music may be a motivator of gun violence, substance abuse, and drug trafficking.

When hip-hop joined the music industry in the 1980’s, it was fun and conscious, filling souls with joy, love, good energy, and friendly freestyle battles. Most rappers back then showcased their lyrical talents and healthily expressed their real life events in the form of elite bars and sick rhymes on a hip-hop beat. In the 1990’s street gangs made their way into the rap world and adopted its own category: “gangster rap” – a combination of hate, violence, criminal activity and derogatory towards women, unlike other music genres. Gangster rappers began making diss (disrespectful) records towards their rivals, which sadly led to early graves for many then-and-now rap artists.

As of date, gangster rap has evolved and has a subtitle: drill music. Since 2018, more than 20 up-and-coming rappers, including Nipsey Hustle and King Von, have lost their young lives. It’s clear that the drill music isn’t just derogatory, but it’s also inappropriate and could be dangerous for children – primarily kids in underserved communities. Children are like sponges; they will soak up everything that comes in the water. Because if an at-risk child, who sees everything their favorite rapper boasts about in their neighborhood, grows up listening to drill music, he or she may develop the wrong mentality that murder, gun violence, gang banging, drug trafficking, and calling women female dogs, etc. is considered to be normality for human life.

With my yet-to-be published “Taquan Makes a Choice” series, I am fully committed to help at-risk youth overcome these criminalized obstacles. However, it going to take you and every other parent, guardian, or adult to make a big difference. Please monitor the music that your child listens to. #BeTheDifference

“Along with navigating the streets of crime-infested environments, drill music is what contributed to me – who was a smart kid – into being a criminal.

– Latif Torres-Robinson