February 1, 2023

You’ve heard of K-pop, now it’s time for K-drill

6 min read

written by Oscar Holland, CNNGown B, CNN

If Silky Boise’s recent hit “Hidden Bass and Syncopated Beat”بومےFor fans of drill music, the duo may not be familiar with the soundtrack of the duo’s song. References are injected.

The metaphorical melodies of the track mention “swinging” like Korean baseball player Choshun Soo, receiving cash like casino developer Kongon Land, and “stacking cheese” like a spicy chicken postage-pink. Is.

Even threats of violence are clearly provided with a Korean flavor: “My chopsticks open you up, take steam, spread you there like fritters,” to one half of the pair. Rapist Park Sung-jin, better known as Jimmy Page.

The Silky Boys are part of a wave of rappers that makes a drill-hard sound, or “devil” as it is known locally. South Korea. “Boome,” meaning “kill him” in the African language Lingala – and popularly used by boxing fans to please Muhammad Ali when he met George Foreman in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Fought – have collected about 2. Millions of views on YouTube since its release last year.

“I didn’t expect foreign YouTubers to make reaction videos or trend songs on platforms like TikTok,” said Kim Dae-woong, another member of Silkybois, whose rap name is Black Nut. Said in a video interview with Seoul. “We just did what we wanted to do in our own way. I loved the reaction of the people, who were unexpected.”

Although the drill originated in Chicago in the early 2010’s, the South Korean scene is heavily borrowed from the British subgener known as the UK drill. With similar catchy and provocative melodies, but with faster beats and more sarcastic sliding bass lines, the sound has since spread from south London to worldwide scenes, including the United States.

Silky Boise members Jimmy Page (left) and Black Nut (right).

Silky Boise members Jimmy Page (left) and Black Nut (right). Credit: Thanks to JustMusic

But while drill artists in Britain and the United States – sometimes controversial – are known to rap about knife violence and firearms, things are a bit different in South Korea, where the world’s lowest gun One of the crime rates. Nonetheless, references to physical violence are prominent, and the country’s drill rappers are not compromising in their portrayal of civilian problems.

“The lyrics are about things in the city,” Park said. “For better or worse, these should be facts. The things that happen on the streets, in the neighborhoods and our mentality – it’s all against us.

“Drill is just another (art) form for me,” he added. “We love hard lyrics … we’re always looking for ways to make strong metaphors and punch lines, and I guess it worked.”

Crossing continents

Global interest in contemporary Korean culture has skyrocketed over the past decade, with groups such as the so-called “K-wave” BTS And Black Pink is gaining ground in the West. K-pop has been the country’s main musical export, but also a healthy domestic hip-hop scene.

The number of drill artists may be small in terms of competition, but many of the country’s most popular rappers – including Keith App, Changmo and Korean-American artist Jay Park – have recently released music inspired by the genre.

Crossing musicians include Shin Young Dick or Blaise, who helped drill into the spotlight last fall. Performance “Show me the money,” on South Korea’s most popular TV rap contest. Her 2021 self-titled album features a range from Grammys to Garages – but it’s inspired by drills. “Pace out“And”CVS“The one who made the most plays on Spotify. (” I’ve been working all night, “he raps later with a course that combines English and Korean.” Don’t stop like CVS 24. ” )

Shin said he discovered the UK drill through the TV drama “Top Boy”, which outlines the struggles of young people in the inner city of London. Although initially uninterested in the Chicago scene, he turned to the Voice of London (which he described as a “completely new genre”) and to be used during the delivery of lines in English. Began to study British pronunciation.

“The British English I knew was from ‘Harry Potter’,” he said in a video interview. The more I listened (to the British rappers), the more I found them fascinating. ”

The 27-year-old artist’s lyrics are often based on autobiography, which deals with personal issues rather than social issues – such as his struggle with the Cove 19 epidemic. He said copying gang or gun-related material from other countries would be unauthorized.

“Hip-hop didn’t originate in Korea, so when you bring voices from abroad, sometimes people bring emotions (of lyrics),” he said. “There are some issues with (copying the lyrics) but these days, the Korean people will see it as fake or deceptive. Artists don’t want to take that risk. Raping a story that is not yours.”

Legal disputes

The drill has become a political lightning rod in Britain, where legislators and the police Has argued That this gang is directly involved in violence and knife crimes. A crackdown in recent years has shown that YouTube has deleted music videos at the request of the London Metropolitan Police, while some experts have spoken out against the rappers in court. Concerns That there is little evidence of a link between music and crime.
In 2019, British drill duo Skengdo and AM were sentenced to suspended prison terms for performing their song “Atomid 1.0”. London police say they have violated a court order banning them, among other things, music is considered to encourage gang violence. In performing the song and uploading it to social media, the couple “incited and encouraged violence against rival gang members,” police said in a statement. Statement.

Related Video: Former K-Pop Boy Band Leader: Wherever You Go, You Have This Identity Crisis

Silky Boise Kim is no stranger to the legal effects of his music. In 2019, a South Korean court sentenced him to life in prison for sexually assaulting female rapper Katie B during a concert and two of his solo songs. Katie B’s correspondent in a statement to the Chosen Elbo newspaper two years later Said She was a “clear victim of crime” and that she was still receiving “sexually harassing malicious comments and DMs” from others as a result of the songs.
The case made a point. Discussion On freedom of expression, however, the country’s Supreme Court upheld the decision, calling the lyrics “an expression of nonsense and sexual degradation.”

Kim said rap material is taken “very seriously” in South Korea, adding: “It’s disappointing that people don’t understand your lyrics and treat them negatively.” His band, Matt Park, also dismissed the potential real-life effects of offensive music: “If you listen to James Brown, do you feel better after that? No, it’s just sound. Is drill music violent?” Can’t raise it? Not hell. You can’t say that. ”

Putting Kim’s case aside, the country’s drill scene – perhaps because of its relatively small mainstream profile – has not been largely affected by legal issues. None of the artists interviewed for the article reported any other police restrictions on music performances or recordings.

And the content of the song by South Korean artists does not raise the possibility of an official crackdown on drills, Park said, arguing that rappers in Britain and the United States have invited trouble by speaking openly about crime in their music.

In a genre where artists are often seen humiliating the talents of rival rappers, it is somewhat reasonable to assume that the biggest challenge facing the South Korean drill scene is the politician, There is no police or even apathy – this is the standard of his contemporaries. .

“They’re trying to make drill songs, but they’re going to fail because they can’t rap,” he said. “You know how to make a bar – that’s the priority in this business.”

Top photo: Korean drill artist Blaise.

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