The influence of rap music called drill on young people in Suffolk has been debated after two teenagers were convicted of murdering an eighteen-year old drill-rapper in Ipswich last year.  

Alfie Hammett, 19, and Joshua Howell, 18, have both been convicted of the murder of Raymond James Quigley on January 17 last year in Westgate Street.

Hammett, of Larkhill Rise, Rushmere St Andrew, and Howell, of Wellington Street, Ipswich, were found guilty on January 26.

The court heard the stabbing was part of a “deep rooted gang rivalry”.

Hammett is associated with the Norwich Third Side gang, Howell with the Ipswich IP3 gang and Quigley with the Only The Money or OTM gang.

In a YouTube video titled OTM R2DAJ - My Ting My Ting a heavily disguised rapper calls himself by Quigley’s nickname, RJ, and speaks about repeatedly stabbing his enemies.

Ipswich Star: Image from the drill music video by R2DAJImage from the drill music video by R2DAJ (Image: YouTube)

“You done one little stabbing now you think your gang’s on a mad ting. Got round there and I show them a mad ting. The ting straight aim for your back skin. Rip it out and repeatedly stab him. Mad ting. Don’t get me mad. I’m the young G that make your parents sad.” The rapper says.

The comments for the video have been disabled.

Underneath another drill music video titled #OTM Boosie X R2DAJ - Not Alike there are comments commemorating RJ, also written R Jay. 

The word drill is also street slang for murdering or seriously injuring an enemy gang member, and a ‘driller’, as it was originally used, is a gang member who carries out drillings – shootings, killings, violence.

After Quigley’s death the influence of drill on young people was hotly debated on the social website Reddit.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Tim Passmore said following the verdict: "I don't know much about Drill but I do understand how the negative connotations of this style of music could impact on the attitude of young people and that does worry me.

Ipswich Star: PCC Tim PassmorePCC Tim Passmore (Image: Suffolk Police)

"I can see how the dark subject matter and the sinister masks and balaclavas might be a dangerous influence on young people and that is why, through my commissioning work, I support a host of projects to encourage young people to find more positive ways to spend their time.”

He added: “Unfortunately, there are far too many youngsters who, through no fault of their own, make wrong choices in life and end up in trouble. Sadly this can often affect career prospects and lead to further crime.

"I am committed to do all I can to break this cycle."

Ipswich Star: Councillor Ruman MuhithCouncillor Ruman Muhith (Image: Charlotte Bond)

However Ipswich Borough Councillor Ruman Muhith has argued for a more nuanced approach.

He said: “It is imperative to refrain from sweeping generalizations concerning music artists, particularly when rooted in negative assumptions about specific genres.

“As we discuss the influence of drill music on young people, it is important to approach the topic with nuance and an understanding of the multifaceted factors contributing to the challenges faced by communities.” Muhith added.

“Music, including drill, can be a reflection of social realities and personal experiences, but it is crucial to avoid oversimplifying its impact on behaviour.

“Research on the link between music genres and criminal behaviour yields varied results and underscores the need to consider individual differences, socio-economic factors, and mental health.

"While certain lyrics and themes in drill music may be explicit and provocative, it is crucial to recognise that correlation does not imply causation.”

“Addressing the root causes of gang-related issues requires a comprehensive approach involving communities, families, schools, and local authorities.

"Investing in education, mentorship programmes, and social support systems can play a pivotal role in steering young people away from violence and crime.”