Surrounded by members of a street gang, this is former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood back on the mic during a session of drill rap – the notorious music genre blamed for glamorising violence.
The new video, featuring lyrics boasting about gangland murders, has already been viewed on the TimWestwoodTV YouTube channel more than 324,000 times in just over three days.
Last year, Westwood, the son of a bishop, was heavily criticised for making money from advertising on the videos after a leaked Metropolitan Police document cited 32 of his videos as potentially inciting violence. The DJ then deleted videos and posts on social media linked to drill music.
Surrounded by members of a street gang, this is former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood, 61 and the son of a bishop, back on the mic during a session of drill rap – the notorious music genre blamed for glamorising violence
But now the 61-year-old is back with the Original Farm Boys (OFB) from Tottenham, North London. Their members include Bandokay, whose real name is Kemani Duggan. He is the 18-year-old son of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police in 2011, sparking riots across London and other cities.
The video opens with Westwood, a Capital Xtra DJ, shouting ‘OFB’ and ‘the Sinners’ in reference to the Northumberland Park Estate gang members who also appear. Both groups are allies in a vicious turf war with the 22 Gang of neighbouring Wood Green, North London.
Last year, 17-year-old Tanesha Melbourne-Blake was killed in the crossfire between the gangs after a reported drive-by shooting.
In the Westwood video, Kemani, alongside fellow rappers, appears to gloatingly refer to the killing of a Wood Green rival who was shot after reportedly carrying out a knife attack.
They rap about ending up ‘dead like Lampz’, referring to 19-year-old rival Kelvin Odunuyi, who was shot dead in March last year. He also sympathetically describes the death of Tanesha, saying: ‘Long live Neesh’, before adding: ‘That didn’t make no sense.’
Crew members include Bandokay, whose real name is Kemani Duggan. He is the 18-year-old son of Mark Duggan (pictured), who was shot dead by police in 2011, sparking riots across London and other cities
Other lyrics by rappers in the session appear to threaten rivals and mock their deaths.
Critics have previously highlighted how Westwood’s videos featured victims of gangland crime and also killers, including Corey Donaldson and Alex Scott, both 20, who were jailed for life for murdering Dean Pascal-Modeste, 21.
Last year, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said drill music was contributing to gang violence in London, adding: ‘Drill music is associated with lyrics which are about glamorising serious violence: murder, stabbings.’ There were 132 murders in London last year, the highest since 2008.
Jen Lock, who runs campaign group Lives Instead Of Knives, said of Westwood’s latest video: ‘It’s disgusting beyond belief. He is a vile man. YouTube have a lot to answer for as well, allowing this material back on their platform. Westwood’s team have told me this music is artistic expression, but how can glorifying murders be art? It needs to be a punishable offence.’
Last year, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said drill music was contributing to gang violence in London, adding: ‘Drill music is associated with lyrics which are about glamorising serious violence: murder, stabbings.’ Pictured is Tim Westwood holding a champagne gun
Several OFB gang members have previously been jailed, including Dennis Adjei-Kyem and Darren Kwarteng in 2016 – when they were aged 20 and 18 – for their involvement in robbing video producers after posing as rappers.
Another, Jordan Townsend, then 18, was jailed in 2012 after stabbing a 15-year-old rival.
A representative of Westwood’s said: ‘The TimWestwoodTV YouTube channel is a non-profit outlet committed to supporting people pursue [sic] their aspirations and dreams as music artists.
We aim and hope to provide opportunities and a positive path to those who might otherwise have no other platform for their creative talents. We do not support or condone gangs. Any violence is obviously a concern.’