We took a deep-dive into the evolution of the drill category; from Afro-Beats to R&B, forming its popular culture status in the UK. Where did it start? and who are the current pioneers mixing and blending the genre into the future?
Back in early 2010, Chicago introduced a sound that is now heavily influenced and associated with the UK. But in the same breath, you can observe the genre being curated globally; French, Dutch, Ghanaian, New York drill, almost every region has its own take.
It seems as though almost each rap artist has taken their chances and had a go at the genre. Whether it was a hit or miss, it heavily influenced an era of music and in a short period it has made a substantial impact. But that does not come without its downfalls.
Drill has steadily been a topic of change, sparking controversy within mainstream media, reaching a point where videos were removed by Youtube. It was always inevitable there would be artists out there looking to adapt it.
Speaking to the Metro, South London rapper, Omo Frenchie said that he enjoyed the production of drill but not what it stood for. Taking influence from his Congolese heritage he turned to Afro drill. He aimed to be at the forefront of this new variation and even had supporters like Wiley, at the time.
Just last year, artist Charlie Mase released his afro drill inspired track, Romance Me, it seemed to have a positive reaction from listeners, bringing in almost 50,000 views on Youtube.
Most recently is a new artist PasteurDeZaire, dropped Combo Flow, a freestyle. Conversely this track held mixed reviews on Twitter, but the general consensus was that this genre is one to keep an eye out for. Summer anthems could be reliant on the new variation of drill.
Girls take over
We have seen the genre come a long way from where it first started when it was pioneered by groups such as 67. Producing some of the most prosperous artists in the UK rap game, like Headie One.
We have seen the genre expand, featuring some of the best female rap artists in the UK, like Shaybo, who is an obvious favourite and an OG in the industry, she has come back to display her talent on various drill beats she has built herself a fanbase. To the younger and newer artists to the genre like TeeZandos and Ivorian Doll, who said in a recent Guardian interview that, “I didn’t think I would get anywhere, I can’t lie to you.”
Singing/ Pop Drill
Finally, probably the most recent variation is singing on drill beats or “Pop Drill”. This one seems to have audiences divided, but it is still in its early stages so who knows where singing on drill can go?
The ever-growing category has made it’s full debut into the UK music roots. It’ll be exciting to see the hybrid variants that come from the UK music talent pool in 2021.