Grime artist Big Narstie has said politicians, the police and media need to stop using drill music as the scapegoat for the rise in violent crime in London.

The rapper says for some young people getting involved in music is their only chance of changing their lives.

He claimed it is “unfair” that the genre was being linked by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick among others to recent stabbings and shootings in the capital.

Speaking at the GRM Daily Rated Awards in London, he said: “100% unfair. It’s a scapegoat, isn’t it? If cowboy films started making everyone start shooting guns, would they ban John Wayne?

“Yeah, there is a lot of crazy things happening in the street. But the government has to understand it’s the music that is the only thing that is giving these kids a chance at changing their lives at the moment.

“Going back about 10 years ago, the only thing a black kid could do to get out of the ghetto was being a sports star. Now we can add music to that, which is a good achievement in itself.

“Drill does have a lot about it but it’s the truth. It’s what’s happening out there. You can’t ask these kids to talk about living in a stable household if they don’t.”

Big Narstie, real name Tyrone Lindo, added: “Being an artist comes with responsibility as well. You want people to come to your shows and feel safe. With great power comes great responsibility.”

The conversation linking drill music to violence rears its head again as Drill rapper Incognito, 23, real name Siddique Kamara, from the group Moscow17, was stabbed to death in Camberwell in south London in August.

Following the killing, the Met commissioner called on social media platforms such as YouTube to remove videos featuring groups like Moscow17 that she said glamorised violence.

Meanwhile, the shooting of a man in Tottenham Cemetery in the early hours of Monday prompted the 99th homicide investigation in the capital this year.

Raza Khan