Examining UK drill music through sentiment trajectory analysis

Bennett Kleinberg, Paul McFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific


This paper presents how techniques from natural language processing can be used to examine the sentiment trajectories of gang-related drill music in the United Kingdom (UK). This work is important because key public figures are loosely making controversial linkages between drill music and recent escalations in youth violence in London. Thus, this paper examines the dynamic use of sentiment in gang-related drill music lyrics. The findings suggest two distinct sentiment use patterns and statistical analyses revealed that lyrics with a markedly positive tone attract more views and engagement on YouTube than negative ones. Our work provides the first empirical insights into the language use of London drill music, and it can, therefore, be used in future studies and by policymakers to help understand the alleged drill-gang nexus.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer Science - Social and Information Networks
  • Computer Science - Computation and Language

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