Wiley offers to take teenager facing drill video ban “under his wing”


The self-proclaimed godfather of grime has offered to mentor a 17-year-old who could be facing a ban from making drill music in the future.

A youth barrister told the court, “Wiley has indicated that he hopes to take [the 17-year-old] under his wing.” The pioneering artist is connected to the father of the convicted member.

Laurie-Anne Power, who represents the teenager, highlighted the success of the group’s videos on YouTube. “You don’t amass 11 million hits from your local community,” she said. “This is worldwide, this is not double counting, this is 11 million hits – they are playing to an audience that wants to hear it.”

“If Wiley started out like that, if Skepta started out like that and is this year posing on the cover of GQ magazine with Naomi Campbell – if these artists can start out in exactly the same way as those in the dock, then there’s hope for them,” she added. “I ask your honour to pass a sentence that gives him hope of coming out and making something of himself.”

The 17-year-old was one of five members arrested from the 1011 group for carrying machetes, knives and baseball bats for a planned revenge attack against a rival group in Shepherd’s Bush. They were convicted in May and were sentenced this month to jail. However, on top of their sentence, the Met Police has applied for a court order to ban the musicians from making drill music videos.

The application comes after YouTube removed over 30 drill music videos last month, following accusations that the genre glamourises violence. The link between drill videos and violence has been a hotly contested issue as of late, and recently news emerged of laws granting detectives and the Met Police permissions to trace and target group members from music videos “like terror suspects”. The laws are yet to be approved by the judiciary.

(via The Independent)