By Jeremy Binning
The Bronx drill scene took a big hit earlier this month as more than 20 gang-members were indicted on 32 charges. The Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell announced a four-page, 82-count indictment supported by music and videos that came from the gang-members. The gang is known as the G-Side/Drilly Gang and reside in various neighborhoods in the Bronx such as East Gun Hill Road, Hull Avenue and Decatur Avenue.
The crimes are from September 2018 to this year, with the last shooting taking place on March 15, according to XXL.com. Charges the gang is facing are conspiracy, murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, assault, attempted assault and grand larceny. During the arrest, 18 guns were also found.
The crimes were extremely violent as many of the defendants were teenagers at the time of the crimes. One incident includes two of the defendants, who were minors, fired shots into a busy Target on East Fordham Road in the Bronx Sept. 29, 2020. There were no injuries reported.
Another incident that took place involving four of the defendants was January 2019 where they assaulted and robbed an 18 year-old prep student. They attacked the victim with weapons, including knives, leaving him critically injured. The victim was taken to the hospital and required emergency resuscitation and life-saving blood transfusions.
The incidents that occurred were mentioned throughout multiple songs and goes so far as to even have the names of the deceased people included in the lyrics. This has been a common trend in the drill scene to mention the names of rival gang-members who had passed away due to gang violence. This is what leads many to believe that the scene is influencing the crime wave that has been taking over the city over the past few years.
Recently, drill rappers became a target by Mayor Eric Adams with him threatening to ban NYC-based drill music from social media. Drill rappers such as Fivio Foregin and B-lovee met with the Mayor a few days later to work on a solution and explain to the mayor that their craft isn’t to blame for the violence in the city. Drill is a form of music and is meant to express the hardships of life in these urban areas, not promote the violence.
Nicholas Cousins, a senior majoring in creative writing, is an avid fan of the drill scene in New York. He describes the recent indictments as “unfortunate” largely because of how young the defendants are. “I listened to a few of the people that were in this indictment…it’s crazy how they just exploited everything with no remorse. I first thought it wasn’t all real but I guess they really were living what they were rapping.”
The term “drill” first came about in Chicago, where rappers Chief Keef and Lil Durk emerged as the pioneers to the movement. They began making music in 2012 and released several projects that caught the attention of hip-hop. Thus beginning the drill movement in hip-hop that would soon grow into a global trend that even became big in London.