Five London gang members who made 'drill music', a British version of the hip-hop genre originally coming from Chicago, were sent to prison on Monday on the charge of planning an attack on a rival gang.
The young men from the band 1011 in Notting Hill area of west London, aged between 17 and 21, were arrested last November armed with machetes, baseball bats, masks, balaclavas and gloves, which they first claimed meant to be used for a videoclip.
They initially told police the items were props to make a drill music video, then later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit violent disorder. They had been embroiled in a feud with a gang from nearby Shepherd's Bush.
Prosecutors also for the first time submitted "criminal behavior orders" requesting the court to ban the men from making drill music for three to five years. A hearing on that issue will be held on Friday.
The court was shown seven drill music videos, which prosecutors claimed demonstrated how the group had been promoting violence.
One song called "No Hook" included sounds of gunshots and lyrics about shooting and stabbing such as "Ching (stab) Splash (stab) aim for his lungs," police said.
"Police say the music incites violence through explicit threats and that it escalates conflict between gangs in the English capital city," reported the Fader, while "fans argue that the music merely reflects a lifestyle of teens raised in a city affected by austerity cuts and a government unwilling to help young people."
Many social workers have raised their voice over the alleged link between drill music and gang violence, saying cuts in youth services due to fiscal austerity measures are likely to be a more direct cause.
The five received sentences ranging up to three-and-a-half years.