From the current New York issue’s package on drill music comes this urgent, saddening profile of Jayquan McKenley, a sweethearted teenager and burgeoning artist whose murder sparked a new wave of handwringing around the rap subgenre.
Even to drill’s defenders, it seemed clear that social media had sped up a cycle of retaliatory shootings; the Bronx’s pandemic-era spike in gun violence persisted through 2021 and into 2022, even as it abated in other boroughs. Countless factors were at play: access to firearms, peer pressure, institutional failures at every level. “What social media did is kind of made it fashionable for these kids to be that disrespectful with one another,” said the rapper Maino, who brokered the meeting at City Hall. “It gives them a vehicle to do that in real time and gives the fans the opportunity to watch it in real time.”