Brooklyn drill

Brooklyn drill is a regional subgenre of drill music that began as derivative of the drill music scene in Chicago, and was modified with 808 percussion and sliding notes by notable producers (808Melo, AXL Beats, Ghosty and Yamaica Productions) from the drill music scene in the United Kingdom and blossomed in Brooklyn, New York.[1][2][3] Brooklyn drill emerged around 2016 and was made popular in the mainstream in 2019 by the late Pop Smoke.[4][5][6][7] Other notable contributors of Brooklyn drill music are Fivio Foreign, 22GZ, Sheff G, Sleepy Hallow, Sosa Geek, KJ Balla (deceased), Smoove'L, Fetty Luciano, MaxThaDemon, Ciggy Black, CoachDaGhost, Rah Swish, Bizzy Banks, Curly Savv, Envy Caine, Blizz Vito, PNV Jay and Nick Blixky (deceased).[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]


The origins of Brooklyn drill music were from the Chicago drill music movement and gained notoriety from rappers Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel in 2014 with the single "Hot Nigga".[15] Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel can be considered as pioneers and having started Brooklyn drill music.[16] The movement's early pioneers were rappers, Bam Bino, Dah Dah and Curly Savv.[17] The music became more popular and associated with UK drill production, specifically AXL Beats with the releases of 22Gz's "Suburban" (released in 2016) and Sheff G's "No Suburban" (2017), the latter being a diss record to 22Gz. Both songs went viral and were credited for the rise and birth of Brooklyn drill.[18][19]

Brooklyn drill music reached mainstream Billboard Hot 100 success with Pop Smoke and Travis Scott ('Gatti' from the JackBoys album and Pop Smoke feat. Nicki Minaj "Welcome to the Party"), Fivo Foreign's "Big Drip" and later collaborations with Drake and Fivio Foreign and Sosa Geek ('Demons').[20][21][22] In 2020 Brooklyn drill music suffered a loss when its biggest star at the time, Pop Smoke was murdered on February 19, 2020, he was shot twice during a home invasion in Hollywood Hills, California.[23][24][25][26][27]


Brooklyn drill sound is a combination of trap music, Chicago and UK drill music (the latter of which brings production influences from British grime and UK garage[28]), and often has sliding 808s with manipulated vocal samples.[29][30] Earlier Brooklyn drill tracks from artists such as Sheff G and notably Pop Smoke, used drill beats from London (UK), incorporating their American accents and changing the focus to energy, which helped create a distinct New York sound.[citation needed] The lyrical content of Brooklyn drill music tends to be dark, violent, aggressive, gang and or opposition related topic, guns, sex, violence, materialism and luxury.


Brooklyn drill music has become very influential among the protestors for social change including but not limited to the Black Lives Matter Movement.[31] The defiant and energetic vibe of Brooklyn drill music has resonated with the energy of the youthful protesters. Rapper Pop Smoke has been considered a pioneer of Brooklyn drill, particularly thanks to the success of his songs "Dior" and "Welcome to the Party", which, along with Fivio Foreign's "Big Drip", have regularly being sung and chanted amongst the protesters and have become anthems to symbolize the energy of the movement.[32] Pop Smoke was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for "Dior".[33][34][35][36][37] The Brooklyn drill scene has evolved into the New York drill scene.[38] One example is Staten Island, New York rapper CJ, who created a Brooklyn drill hit song, "Whoopty", which is reminiscent of the Brooklyn drill sound of Pop Smoke.[39]


  1. ^ Pierre, Alphonse. "AXL Beats Is the London Rap Producer Bringing Brooklyn Drill to Drake and Travis Scott". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  2. ^ "How Drake Ended Up Rapping on a Drill Beat: An Interview With "War" Producer AXL Beats". Complex. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  3. ^ Koku, Danielle (2020-05-14). ""We own the ball now": How UK producers set a new standard for drill". Mixmag. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  4. ^ "22Gz, a Pioneer of Brooklyn Drill". Complex. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  5. ^ Boparai, Danil (2019-12-10). "Is Pop Smoke the new king of New York?". i-D. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  6. ^ Schwartz, Danny (2020-02-20). "Pop Smoke Should've Been New York's Next Great Rapper". The Ringer. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  7. ^ XXL Staff (2020-09-03). "Pop Smoke Speaks on Brooklyn Drill, New New York Movement and His Place In It in One of His Final Interviews". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  8. ^ "The Death of Pop Smoke and the Future of Brooklyn Drill". The New York Times. 2020-02-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  9. ^ "'I'm Not a Drill Rapper': Smoove'L Announces Deal with Interscope, Talks Brooklyn Rap". Complex. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  10. ^ "Rapper Sosa Geek Teases New Drake Collab Over Drill Beat". Complex. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  11. ^ "Rah Swish Carries Pop Smoke's Legacy On "Woo Forever"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  12. ^ "Brooklyn Rapper Blizz Vito Drops Off New 'Boyz in the Hood' Inspired Record Titled 'Opp Down'". Respect. 2020-01-28. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  13. ^ "Fetty Luciano Is Keeping GS9's Name Alive". Billboard. 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  14. ^ Balsamini, Dean (2020-05-23). "Young up-and-coming NYC rapper KJ Balla killed in drive-by shooting". New York Post. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  15. ^ "Songs That Defined the Decade: Bobby Shmurda, 'Hot N---a'". Billboard. 2019-11-21. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  16. ^ "There's a New Hip-Hop Movement Brewing in New York, and Everybody Knows It". XXL Mag. April 15, 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  17. ^ "How Brooklyn Drill Became the New Sound of New York". Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  18. ^ Pierre, Alphonse. "Sheff G Made Drill the Sound of Brooklyn". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  19. ^ "Exploring The Trans-Atlantic Drill Connection". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  20. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (2020-06-30). "Pop Smoke Took Brooklyn Drill Global. Fivio Foreign Is Carrying the Torch". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  21. ^ "Pop Smoke". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  22. ^ "Columbia Records Signs Brooklyn Rapper Fivio Foreign". Billboard. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  23. ^ Sodomsky, Sam. "Pop Smoke Shot Dead at 20". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  24. ^ Facebook (2020-02-19). "Rapper Pop Smoke gunned down in Hollywood Hills home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  25. ^ "Rapper Pop Smoke slain in Hollywood Hills, reports say". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  26. ^ Strauss, Matthew. "5 Arrested in Connection With Pop Smoke's Murder". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  27. ^ Battan, Carrie. "The Rallying Cry in Pop Smoke's Posthumous Album". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  28. ^ "Remembering Pop Smoke, the US rapper who introduced the UK drill sound to New York". The Independent. 2020-03-17. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  29. ^ "Pop Smoke's Legacy and the Sound of Brooklyn Rap". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  30. ^ Barshad, Amos (2020-07-01). "After Pop Smoke's death, can UK drill producers maintain their US success?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  31. ^ "Pop Smoke's "Dior" Is a Radical Addition to the Protest Music Canon | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  32. ^ Giorgis, Hannah (2020-07-07). "Pop Smoke Made the Soundtrack of a Lost Summer". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  33. ^ "Pop Smoke". 2020-11-23. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  34. ^ III, William E. Ketchum. ""It Should've Been Way Bigger": Pop Smoke's Label Boss Steven Victor Isn't Satisfied with One Grammy Nomination". GQ. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  35. ^ "Pop Smoke's "Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon" Hits New Sales Milestone". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  36. ^ "Pop Smoke's 'Shoot for the Stars' Has Most Weeks at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Since 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  37. ^ Holmes, Charles (2020-11-24). "The Grammys Weren't Built for a Black Revolution". The Ringer. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  38. ^ "How Pop Smoke Shaped New York's Drill Rap Scene". 2020-09-26. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  39. ^ Seabrook III, Robby (November 25, 2020). "The Break Presents: CJ". XXL. Retrieved 2020-11-27.