In Great Britain, knife crime is rising precipitously, and one reason suspected for the increase is a game that scores knife attacks that is followed by gangs on social media.
The vicious game, called “The Tally Up” challenge, aka “Street Scores” or “Street Shark,” entails gang members scoring 50 points for stabbing someone in the head, 30 points for stabbing someone in the arm, and 20 points for knifing someone in the stomach. According to The Sun, “The craze is spreading through Snapchat and Instagram and is referenced in drill rap videos.”
In recent years, teenagers have been murdered in London in attacks linked to drill rap, including Jermaine Goupall, 15, who was killed in a knife attack by drill artist M-Trap 0, aka Junior Simpson, 17, who created videos rapping about knife attacks; John Ogunjobi, 16, whose murder prompted a drill rap gang to mock his family, saying he had his stomach "cut open like a bear" in a YouTube video, and Marcel Addai, 18, stabbed to death in a murder that was linked to drill rap. The Sun reported, “The judge said the videos posted on YouTube to taunt each other were “at the heart” of the attack in 2015.
Last month, in West Sussex, someone was stabbed in the head, chest and arms. One police source told The Sun, “This was a points score for the game. The head is the most points you can get which is why it was targeted but the fear is it will lead to more lives than ever being lost.”
The Sun researched the issue and found references to the game in drill raps with videos of street violence shared online. The Sun quoted various lyrics from the raps including “Bang, bang, I made the street messy. Bang, bang and I don’t feel sorry for his mum. Gang sh** Still drillin’ - check the scores. Tally Up,” and “We up five, matter fact boy we up six. Scoring up not a sh**. Ni**as no. Shellin, sh** den, splash the streets for scores.”
Sheldon Thomas, a former gang leader, created a support group called Gangsline. He stated, “This points scoring game was just in London and has been around for about six months or so. But it’s now spreading at a scary rate and is now getting everywhere and is potentially more lethal than ever.”
The Sun noted that knife crime rose an average of 45.7% in 34 English and Welsh counties between 2010 and 2018.
One senior Met police source told The Sun, “The victims are younger, the gang members are younger and it is fair to label this a national emergency.” Thomas warned, “This is no longer a poor white or poor black community problem. This is now a problem for everyone. Children from middle-class homes are in on it and are the worst offenders at the moment.”
According to urbandictionary.com, “drill music” is a “sub-genre of Hip Hop's trap music originating in Chicago's impoverished south and west sides. Where as traditional trap lyrics from Atlanta more so concern drug dealing or 'trapping', drill music’s lyrics are more violent and aggressive, reflecting the violent nature of some of Chicago neighborhoods that made it the murder capital of America in 2012.”