Two men who breached an injunction banning them from making drill music which ”incited and encouraged violence” have been given suspended jail sentences of nine months each.
The ruling comes as Scotland Yard continues its controversial crackdown on the rap genre, a strategy which has attracted significant criticism from drill fans.
The injunction was originally issued on 13 August last year after Croydon County Court found Terrell Doyley and Joshua Malinga were members of a Lambeth gang and their drill music videos, which targeted their rivals, could amount to “gang-related violence and threats of violence under the Policing and Crime Act 2009”.
Drill, which originated in Chicago, often features lyrics about gang disputes, guns, drugs and stabbings, as well as lines mocking rivals personally.
The Metropolitan Police have repeatedly blamed it for rising knife crime in London and has launched a wide ranging crackdown on drill music videos.
In the past two years, Scotland Yard has asked YouTube to remove between 50 and 60 music videos, with more than 30 of the requests granted after the footage was found to be in violation of the website’s policies.
But fans argue the videos reflect the experiences of London’s disenfranchised youth.
The crackdown forms part of Operation Domain, which launched in September 2015 with the aim of taking action against gang-related videos encouraging violence.
“I am pleased with the sentences passed in these cases which reflect that the police and courts are unwilling to accept behaviour leading to serious violence,” said Detective Inspector Luke Williams of Lambeth and Southwark Gangs Unit.
“The court found that violence in drill music can, and did in this case, amount to gang-related violence.”
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