DG is a young, upcoming rapper, from South Manchester, with aspirations for a career within the music industry. He produces tracks, sharing his point of view on criminal issues in the community, at Gorse Hill Studios, as a part of the Alternative Creative Education program.
During lockdown, creative projects were a way to take your mind off the situation and turn a waste of time into a productive activity. I wanted to pursue my passion for music and created lyrical content relevant to many of the criminal issues within the community. The release – Trapped – uses the slang term ‘trap’ as both a reference to the street drug trade, and a metaphor for the difficulty of removing one from such a situation.
Currently studying at Gorse Hill Studios, as a part of the Alternative Creative Education program, I was able to record and produce the track along with working on my Silver Arts award (and other AQA awards,) which has led me to interview many well-known rappers within this style of music. Gorse Hill Studios has also allowed me to make use of the film equipment, therefore creating a new music video for the release.
Having recently researched the statistics on relevant issues, such as knife crime consistency, drug misuse on the streets, gang violence and other topics, I felt it was important to create a piece of content to share a voice on this which often goes unheard: a point of view on the severity of criminal issues to help create an understanding, from a first person perspective, of the impact in the community. Being a young person from such a background, the lyrics give a first-hand account and show contrast between the minds of those who are ‘trapped’ in this cycle of criminal activity, and the people who then must face the consequences. I wanted to use this blog article as a vehicle for speaking about the meaning behind some of the lyrical content, and shine light on the context behind the song.
I focused on common issues such as the process of ‘county lines’, explaining in the song that “out on the roads” is anything but fun, and how my mum is on the phone, referring to the conversation as “where’s her son?”
I thought about how the ‘streets’ have included me as a part of their team and have showed more care to me than many other groups within society. I understand that their intention may not have been in my favour, however at the time, I felt as if I had no one else. I say in the song, “all it is now is me and my team” to show that there was once some sort of association with a different group of people (my family), whereas now, it’s just myself and those part of the ‘team’.
I go on to say how “I wish life is a dream”, along with “late nights got me shotting to the fiends”. I have used the word ‘wish’ to create an image of how strongly I feel about not wanting to be a part of the activity. As the “late nights” are what is making me do these things, I have used the word ‘dream’ to refer to what I wish it was instead.
I also say, “I be on top with all of my G’s”, meaning that I have the upper hand with my G’s (my team) as opposed to before when I was on my own. I believe that this is a reason why so much of the young population feel the need to engage in this criminal activity, as it makes us feel powerful and that there is another ‘better’ way of life. I go on to say that I’m “living lavish, life so sweet”, showing the benefit of being a part of such a group, also backing up my previous statement.
Finally, the last line of the last verse concludes the meaning of the song and the main reason I made it. I state that I am “stuck in these streets’, as I cannot see myself going back to my prior lifestyle, and “that’s why they call it trap”. This is a metaphor, using the word ‘trap’ to show not just the lifestyle of one in this situation, but how it takes over your mind until you no longer want to go back.
I have written this piece to emphasize the meaning and context of the song, giving insight into the minds of those who take part in this cycle of criminal activity, for a related audience that may not have the understanding of why the young population take part in the criminal activity they do.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewiFEdZoQ71cKN9SZ5Qs6A
Images: Courtesy of author