London rap duo Krept & Konan have accused the Crown Prosecution Service of penalising drill musicians and have launched a petition calling on it to stop using the Serious Crime Act against rappers.
They are calling for signatories for a Change.org petition, saying: ‘The police are using laws made for terrorists and sex offenders to criminalise musicians who sing violent lyrics.
‘It means that the police no longer have to prove any link between an artist and a specific act of violence to secure a conviction for “inciting violence”.’
They cite the recent ruling against London artists Skengdo and AM, who were given a nine-month suspended sentence for performing a song at a London concert in December.
‘According to Index on Censorship, this is the first time in British legal history that a prison sentence has been issued for performing a song but it is the start of what we think will be a clampdown on free speech for rappers,’ Krept & Konan said.
They continued: ‘This is a threat to freedom of speech. Nobody in a free society should be imprisoned for words…
‘Banning drill or any type of art is problematic for a number of reasons. It deprives already disenfranchised young people of a voice, it reflects moral cowardice for failing to look straight-on at the reality of marginalised groups on inner-city estates, and it won’t tackle issues caused by poverty, racism and classism.’
You can access the petition at https://www.change.org/p/crown-prosecution-service-stop-silencing-musicians