Brooklyn Drill

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
Might as well give it its own thread.

I was pretty ambivalent about it, but there are a couple of bits on Meet The Woo 2 that move it beyond an awkward aping of UK drill. Faint shimmers from the stargate that you wouldn’t get in the UK. Flirtations with Uriel. Seraphic glimmers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oib2gIA0W4k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_oOES_uKPI

There’s also muscularity in post-2018 drill production that sounds too polished for the UK but which works in the States. Bruce Springsteen’s biceps in sleeveless denim music.

Where it transcends being solely- misguidedly- derivative is when it opts for post-Migos cantonised flows. That is an ingredient in the UK (Miz being the most glaring example), but its not foregrounded to anywhere near the extent it is in some of this Brooklyn stuff; there’s still a pull towards contiguity in the UK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf3eAb4l38Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0fw5CrBMjI

Crowley rather astutely criticised Pop Smoke for essentially being an Abra Cadabra impressionist. While there’s a lot of truth in that, it does explain why he sits more comfortably with these beats. A lot of the US rappers are cutting through when the music works far more as something immersive. The UK rappers all sound like kids at school mumbling reluctantly to a grumpy teacher, whereas these American lot have that showbiz shine. They’re beaming spotlights in a music that’s supposed to be murky.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
In a way this music is a serious indictment of the UK's inability to tie what it was doing with drill to what was going on in the States at the same time. Its a bit embarrassing that some bloke from New York's had to do it belatedly (especially given how UK music- and UK drill itself- has an illustrious history of honing in on and working off of the most innovative strands of US rap).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUxnuKO-s_k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VPjHQaw-x4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZzakFHnTAw

There were a couple of hints things could go in a somewhat similar direction (though admittedly by way of Africa), but nothing came of it. The music just went stale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QZnaGFzoPE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG9CgVdrSQ8
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Yeah that Pop Smoke one is amazing. Why does this shit sound so much better (to my ears) with US voices? I know they have a deep MC culture but I can't really hear shades of that classic NY rap in this, in the way that you can with so much other stuff.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
There’s always been a magical undercurrent in UK drill. Those gliding bass lines are writhing, sinuous and diabolically serpentine. The funeral march pianos and cathedral reverbs have their religious connotations. The lyrical preoccupation with numbers is like alchemy or 5%er stuff. You get those hexing sorceress vocals in things like ‘waps’.

But it’s always been overshadowed by the social realist elements of the music. The mantra-like nature of UK drill often ends up sounding more apathetic than trance-inducing. There’s something washed out and grayscale about the music that detracts from its imaginative potential. It sounds like Lambeth on an overcast day.

What’s great about these Woo 2 bits is that the magic is front and centre. The cavernous reverb, the dragon scale autotune, the “murmurs from a Martian crypt” (to coin a phrase)... it’s all so enchanting.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
The intimacy’s gone on those woo 2 ones. Compare it to something like wicked and waaasss. It’s all broad strokes, these gargantuan reverberating zeniths. It’s Old Testament floods of sound.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sCxNrRk74PU

The drums are also less fidgety and jungly. Faint ‘kill shit’ snares, those lop-sided main accents, but all the flurries are gone.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
I can’t listen to tg Milligan without thinking of that footage of him in prison, arms held behind his back and that giant 9 foot bloke who was built like the thing just repeatedly punching him in the face. It’s one of those things you really regret watching. Just irredeemably bleak.

His vocals sound like that. They sound bruised and traumatised. They sound like swollen eye sockets and split lips.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I probably don't know enough about UK drill to really comment but what I hear is a kinda lack of the performative in the UK vocals. It can sound like it doesn't have the desire to excite and entertain in a way that the US stuff does, and I think that's just 40 years of MC culture soaking in via osmosis. There's an energy from the aggression but it seems kinda one-dimensional, less rounded than the US stuff. Muffled, literally. Whereas I hear and see a kind of ... flamboyance, confidence in those US tracks. There's a certainty that you'll want slamdance around to this.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Like the woooooo and "she like the way that I ... RRRRRRR" on that last Pop Smoke (bass on that is a fucking monster btw) - I can't imagine a UK driller having the confidence to flex like that. Maybe I'm very wrong, idk.
 

luka

Well-known member
Like the woooooo and "she like the way that I ... RRRRRRR" on that last Pop Smoke (bass on that is a fucking monster btw) - I can't imagine a UK driller having the confidence to flex like that. Maybe I'm very wrong, idk.

You can see this in the physicality as well if you watch the video I've just posted for instance.

This is something I've always found interesting. American style dance and choreography is global but the same moves look very different once transplanted to India or England or Korea.
 

luka

Well-known member
But how anything tastes depends on what you've just had in your mouth beforehand. Like orange juice after brushing your teeth. And a while back when Barty was making me listen to UK drill on the one hand and Migos on the other, the U.K. greyscale could make the Atlanta stuff seem too Hollywood, too James Cameron, too professional wrestling. Woo like Rik Flair. Sort of gross and ridiculous.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
what's nice about woo 2 is that it's combined 2017 barty into one package; drill beats with migos vocals.

i've beeen waiting for this music to happen for 3 years.
 

luka

Well-known member
I was thinking as I lay in bed this morning not wanting to get out cos there's a hurricane trying to cave my windows in that Barty should do one of those mvuent listens to such and such for uk drill but force everyone to get involved not just overworked mvuent.
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
In normal circumstances, the internet dilutes cultural artefacts by exposing them to outside influences, but drill has inverted this phenomenon; the internet has allowed a very narrow, insular culture centered around South London’s Tulse Hill area to project itself out into the world. There are now strands of drill that owe far more the UK that Chicago in localities as disparate as Albania, Spain and New York. Far from being merely gangs and violence, drill has shown itself to be the sound of technology, of globalisation, of terrorism and of despair. Its resonance and scope are far more wide-ranging than its geographic and social confines would suggest. As C1 says, “the world’s much bigger than the Tulse Hill slums...”.
 
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