Rapper Krept has warned that the Metropolitan Police’s move to ban drill music could prevent the next generation’s Eminem or Dr Dre from being discovered.
The performer, one half of rap duo Krept and Konan, spoke on a panel following the premiere of the pair’s song, Ban Drill, at a cinema in west London on Thursday night.
The 11-minute accompanying film about a fictitious young rapper shows how a ban on making music could drive young musicians back to gang life.
Drill music is a type of hip hop characterised by its distinctive so-called trap-style beat and ominous sounds.
It has been blamed for fuelling a surge of murders and other violent crimes and last year Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick called on social media platforms to take down drill videos that were inciting violence.
But Krept, real name Casyo Johnson, said prohibiting artists from performing robbed the next generation of role models such as Grammy award-winning US artist Eminem.
He said: “(The video to Ban Drill) is painting the perspective for people that don’t get it so they can see the effect that it has when they want to ban this music.
“What could happen if they leave these artists alone so they can flourish and become something big?
“You could have stopped the next Dr Dre. When they were trying to ban (US rap group) NWA back in the day, if they stopped Dr Dre from doing music, there would be no Beats (headphone brand) by Dre. There would be no Eminem.”
Rapper Konan, real name Karl Wilson, said he believed the police saw rap artists as “animals” and that their preconceptions stopped them from dealing with the root of violent crime.
Last year, a west London drill group called 1011 were issued with a court order banning them from making music without police permission.
Scotland Yard deny the court order amounted to censorship of the group, some of which were jailed for conspiracy to commit violent disorder.
The panel was also attended by award-winning spoken word artist George The Poet, anti-knife crime campaigner Faron Alex Paul and media and human rights barrister Jude Bunting among others.
George The Poet, real name George Mpanga, said the Metropolitan Police had been invited to attend the screening but declined.
He claimed understanding between minority groups and the police had hit rock bottom.
He said: “The reason I feel like it was important for the police to be here is because we have got to address the elephant in the room.
“There is gang war and the gangs are the feds versus everyone else. The feds will win every single time.
“Their aversion to us and our culture has mutated into this new tactic that they’ve got (banning drill).”
He added: “Obviously police are supposed to be there to protect the community but we’ve all had experiences where they have done less than that.
“We’ve had those experiences our whole lives. What we haven’t had before is this much power.
“We’ve got a scene, we’ve got power, we’ve got clout politically.”
Mr Bunting, who has acted in a number of cases concerning individuals dying in police custody, said the banning of drill was an “important free speech issue”.
He said: “If you have been banned from performing an individual song then you should be challenging that. You should be arguing against that.
“There will be lawyers who will fight that for free because this is an important free speech issue. You shouldn’t take these things sitting down.”