NYC Mayor Eric Adams clarifies criticism of drill music after meeting with rappers

Adams' comments on the controversial rap subgenre generated some backlash.

February 16, 2022, 7:19 PM

New York City Mayor Eric Adams clarified his comments about drill rap -- a controversial and popular rap subgenre -- after meeting with a group of rappers on Tuesday night, where they discussed the gun violence impacting the hip-hop community.

Adams told reporters on Wednesday that the rappers came into the meeting "with a lot of energy" and were concerned that the mayor wanted to "ban" drill rap.

Adams said that he had a "great conversation" with the group, which included Fivio Foreign and Maino, and said he reassured them that he doesn't want to ban the genre.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jan. 4, 2022.
Seth Wenig/AP, FILE

Adams said that he is concerned about particular drill rap videos in which artists directly attack and threaten their rivals with violence.

"Violent people who are using drill rapping to post who they killed, and then antagonize the people who they are going to kill is what the problem is," he told reporters.

Brooklyn rapper Maino posted a short video of the meeting on his Instagram account on Tuesday evening of the rappers gathering with Adams.

In the video, Maino said that the group wanted to "have a real dialogue" with the mayor and give him "a real perspective and a real understanding of what drill rap is."

Jayquan McKenley, who goes by the stage name CHII WVTTZ, is seen in a video posted to his known Instagram account.
@chii_tercero via Instagram

"We're going to roll out something together on the whole conversation," Adams said in the video posted by Maino.

The mayor’s office did not provide further details about the plan, but Adams told reporters last week that he plans to form a coalition of rappers dedicated to tackling the problem of gun violence in the hip-hop community.

Adams' meeting with the rappers came after the mayor's comments about drill rap sparked some backlash in the hip-hop community in the wake of the killings earlier this month of two aspiring drill rappers in Brooklyn -- Tahjay Dobson, who was known as TDott Woo, and Jayquan McKenley, who went by the stage name CHII WVTTZ.

PHOTO: TDott Woo attends the 2021 Thanksgiving Drive in New York,  Nov. 23, 2021.
TDott Woo attends the 2021 Thanksgiving Drive in New York, Nov. 23, 2021.
Wireimage via Getty Images, FILE

Adams appeared to point the finger at the genre, which often includes violent lyrics and videos, in comments he made last week where he suggested that social media companies restrict artists from posting their music.

“We are going to pull together the social media companies and sit down with them and state that you have a civic and corporate responsibility,” Adams said while discussing drill rap last week. “You know, I mean, we pulled Trump off Twitter because of what he was spewing, yet we are allowing music -- displaying of guns, violence -- we're allowing it to stay on these sites.”

Adams' office did not provide more details when asked if he has any meetings set up with leaders of social media companies to discuss the topic.

Fivio Foreign, one of the most popular New York City drill rappers who met with the mayor on Tuesday, urged Adams to “fight with us not against us.”

“I luv this city, all we tryna do is be positive inspirations for communities & families. This is tha sound of New York. We just tryna show tha world how far we can take it. Don’t stop tha video from dropping,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Over the years, drill artists say they have been monitored and targeted by law enforcement, with some being banned from performing in their own hometowns. Chicago rapper Chief Keef famously appeared via hologram at a 2016 concert in Indiana -- an event that was subsequently shut down by police. Chief Keef has originally planned to perform in Chicago, but then-Mayor Rahm Emmanuel urged the theater to cancel the show, saying the rapper was a bad role model. But artists have long argued that their music is a form of self-expression that chronicles the struggles of life on the streets.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky and Mark Crudele contributed to this report.

Related Topics