On February 15, 2022, the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, held a summit with a group of drill rappers on that Tuesday and discussed the issues behind the gruesome environment that drill music both forth. Before this meeting, he had announced publicly that wanted to ban drill music, but he was actually able to expound on that point and clarified that he really wanted to reduce the amount of music videos that were flooding the internet. He intended to do so by utilizing social media platforms to monitor what was being posted. Eric Adams stated, “We pulled Trump off of Twitter because of what he was spewing. Yet, we are allowing music displaying guns and violence. We allow this to stay on the sites.” He blamed the rising genre to be the reason behind the increased deaths/ shootings in the city and also the catalyst for 2 young New York rappers dying before reaching their prime. This caused a lot of controversy on the internet, residents of these certain communities felt that this solution was too harsh. It was understood amongst the community that this music provided a chance for these youth to find a path out of the treacherous neighborhoods – and if they were willing to take away the music then they might as well take away the movies that are just as violent.
This argument was similar to the controversy regarding the game, Grand Theft Auto, and its influence on youth and gun violence. The way I see it there are 2 sides to every coin, duality – everything has total opposites so there are always two sides to a story or two factors in place. It’s not fair to blame the violence strictly on the music; when we also have to think of the social and environmental factors that influence these youth. Yes, entertainers should take more accountability with the words that they use because they are literally making themselves a target. Usually, nobody wants to kill a lame; usually, nobody wants to kill a gospel singer; usually, nobody has the urge to commit violent acts toward someone who stays in their own lame and in some way humble. The content of the music is perpetuating a gangster motif, so it’s not a question of if someone is going to test you but “When are they going to test you?”. Like Jay-Z said “Look, if I shoot you, I’m brainless – But if you shoot me, then you’re famous!” – and that’s exactly what these youth are looking for. Street fame, and it's powered by jealousy but it would just make sense to go after the individuals that are flexing expensive jewels, clothing, and wads of cash; more than likely they’ll have some of the items that they flaunt, on their personnel. That leads to the social and environmental responsibility that isn’t being met.
The Bronx is 40% below the poverty level, where are the jobs? If the adults do not have the opportunity to provide for their family then what does that leave for the youth? The income taxes of the neighborhood fund the public schools in that very neighborhood, so if poverty is prevalent then more than likely the funding for those schools will also be extremely limited. No jobs and poor education, what other outlets do these youth have? Yes, they could choose to find extracurricular activities that are more positive but those are habits that have to be formed – and what is the likeliness of a child wanting to choose that overhanging outside with their friends? And if someone attacks you, it is natural to want to defend yourself or even take revenge. Unfortunately, these youth are playing the game of tag with firearms and in many cases, it turns out to be fatal. Our communities do not make firearms so there are definitely other factors at play. I read somewhere once, and I am paraphrasing, that “the real criminals are wealthy individuals that conduct trade, and the inventory of these individuals usually reach the lowest rungs of our impoverished neighborhoods and the judicial system usually makes these individuals out to be the poster boys for crime”. There are two sides to really pay attention to and with some form of balance, I am very sure as a whole we can alleviate the death/ shootings amongst these promising artists.