PARODY, PIONEERS & SASSY SAVAGES: INTRODUCING GAY DRILL

The UK Drill phenomenon that’s risen to notoriety over the latter half of the last decade has garnered mass media attention for the violent content of the music; spawned countless rap careers and informed the artistic direction of a generation of young rapper; and at the tail of the decade given birth to the potential for a new wave in a way that no one could’ve ever predicted.

In the April 2019 Twitter and Instagram were illuminated with another viral frenzy. The type that usually comes and goes doing little to provoke much thought, but this one in particular – on top of being both shocking and hilarious in equal measures – to me at least, was signalling a potential shift in what was already a shocking phenomenon in itself. 

This was the video in question. This absolutely mental video showing a trio of mask clad road yutes sprayin’ bars about all manors of highly graphic gay sexual encounters was making noise on the net earlier this year, and rightfully so. I mean, to convert the phrase “duck man down” to  “Dick man down” in some ways was pure genius. They took the shocking and aggressive nature of Drill and turned it on it’s head in a way that just seemed to fit so perfectly, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by some. What had started as a throwaway viral video, had marinated in the minds of some of the people it reached who thought they’d take this concept a step further.

What followed was a masked up, grey tracksuit wearing, car bonnet twerking collective by name of the ‘Sassy Savages’. Unlike the original video, there was something strikingly less parody about the Sassy Savages – could be the way too well rehearsed batty shaking that gives that impression, I’m not quite sure. The video ended up being taken down shortly afterwards and all social media disappeared for mysterious reasons. Subsequently the song didn’t pick up the traction it really deserved, but irrespective of that, the Sassy Savages can still take some credit – in some regards – for pushing the realms of Gay rap in the UK.

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Now, although Gay rap isn’t a completely new thing it comes across strongly that the realms of  Gay Rap in general have yet to be fully exploited and the realms of artistic possibilities fully explored, or explored to the degree you’d expect. I guess the concept of the LGBTQ+ sexuality spectrum has had difficulty finding acceptance in mainstream society, sometimes with aggressive resistance making it difficult for something like this to rise as a movement. But with a lot of that beginning to get better, there are some artists coming up overseas.  One of the few – widely considered to be the first ever gay drill rapper – Kidd Kenn – who hails from Chicago – has been doing his thing for a couple years now, bringing the sassy savage sonics to the playing field and even coining the term itself. So I guess he can take the title of originator for this brand of violently homosexual music. 

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Here in the UK on the other hand, things in the burgeoning world of Gay Drill are a little different. The Sassy Savages had only released 1 song and disappeared, which really should’ve signaled the end of this experimentation, but the position as the UK’s number 1 Gay Drill MC was quickly filled in (no pun intended) by West Midlands rapper ‘Blowski Don’ or “Your Dads Favourite Driller” as he likes to proudly proclaim.

After making his entrance into the Rap Sphere via a UK Drill sub-reddit, Blowski garnered a humble buzz from his inaugaral track ‘Chris Tucker’ which lead to an Instagram post of a clip of the tune on ImJustBait gaining 150,000 views. This put his name out there, but with only one song – and ImJustBait audience not being the best to spark the wave – not much more came after his follow up track ‘B L O W S K I’ – which comically opens with the unforgettable line “I love a man in uniform, but not a fed”. Both of his available tunes are actually solid in terms of his rap skill. If you take away the stuff about gettin head off turkish dons and three ways with pete and kenny, his tunes on a lyrical level genuinely stand up against the roster rap talent bringin the heat to the streets today. The bars and flows are all on point with, the shock factor of the occasional gay reference slappin you in the face every few bars in ‘Chris Tucker’ only enhancing the experience, to the point where you listen to his second release and his masterful restraint leaves you actually wanting more of the Gay bars despite not actually being gay – a testament to the power and potential of the sound.

Unfortunately though, with not much being known about the Sassy Savages after everything was taken down and Blowski Don’s questionable legitimacy as a Gay-Gun-Toting-Roadman, as far as our home shores are concerned this sound still firmly remains in the realms of parody here in the UK. Although the likes of Rawzilla – a gay Grime MC from Birmingham who even sent for JayKae earlier this decade – have made some noise. Along with Karnage Kills, a gay (female presenting) rapper who’s been around for a couple of years now – even making an appearance at the Pussy Palace X Boiler Room. What they seem to have in legitimacy, they severely lack in ability compared to the far superior musical stylings of man like Blowski Don. You can’t knock the hustle or take away their pioneer status, but the reality is for this to work,  fundamentally, the music has to bang. 

With the LGBTQ+ movement rising in notoriety, it seems fitting that the taboos that would’ve prevented this from happening in the past are progressively becoming less prevalent. So like all scenes with more people feeling empowered to make this music, the standard will increase in correlation with the participation. So with that said, although it’s unlikely Gay Rap will take over the mainstream, the cult come up seems inevitable. The only question now is who will be the one to spearhead the new movement moving into the new decade?

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

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