NYC mayor meets with drill rappers to tackle increasing violence

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

New York City Mayor Eric Adams held a meeting with a group of drill rappers on the night of Feb. 16, which comes days after the mayor alluded to the idea that drill music and the city’s increasing violent crime wave are connected.

The mayor clarified that he does not want to ban the music genre. Adams’ drill rap comments were made after he gave a speech about the death of 18-year-old drill rapper, Jayquan Mckenley who went by the stage name Chii Wvttz. Mckenley was murdered in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood earlier this month, Deadline reports.

Drill music is a subgenre of hip-hop originating in the early 2010s in Chicago’s South Side area. The subgenre is heavily influenced by a fellow subgenre, trap music; music that appeared on the Atlanta, Georgia music scene.

Brooklyn is where the drill movement is considered more powerful and active; it became a part of many Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, according to a report from The Guardian.

Adams said that he only became knowledgeable of drill music due to his son, Jordan Coleman, who currently works at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company.

“My son sent me videos. It was alarming,” the Mayor said.

Originally, Adams stated that he planned to meet with social media companies in his effort to ban the genre from their platforms.

At the time, he never named a specific rapper. Adams did point out the hypocrisy of banning politicians for their comments that were deemed wrong, while leaving drill music up on social media sites, using former President Donald Trump as an example.

“You have a civic and corporate responsibility,” Adams said, adding that it was irresponsible to continue posting them. “We pulled Trump off Twitter because of what he was spewing. Yet we are allowing music [with] displaying of guns, violence. We allow this to stay on the sites,” Adams said.

Recent losses of famous drill rappers showed that they are not immune to the rapidly increasing violence. In 2020, rapper Pop Smoke was killed during a home invasion in Los Angeles. Brooklyn drill rapper Nas Blixky, whose real name was Nasir Fisher, was shot in the head earlier this month, leaving him in critical condition.

Brooklyn drill rapper Maino, who had a role in organizing the meeting with the former-police officer-turned-mayor, posted a short video on his Instagram showing other rappers gathered around the mayor.

“I just wanted to create a conversation with the mayor … so he could get a real perspective and a real understanding of what drill rap is and so that we can have some real dialogue and really start to make things happen,” Maino said.

Other notable rappers present at the meeting included Fivio Foreign, who responded to the mayor’s original comments on Twitter, B-Lovee, CEO Slow and Bleezy.