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Rapper killed in knife attack spoke of drill music’s influence on crime

Incognito died after the attack in Camberwell, south London, on Wednesday evening.

A London drill rapper who was stabbed to death had recently admitted the genre was contributing to violence in the capital.

Moscow17 rapper Incognito, whose real name is believed to have been Siddique Kamara, 23, was knifed in Camberwell, south London, on Wednesday evening.

He died at the scene in Warham Street and two other males, aged 16 and 31, were taken to hospital with non life-threatening stab wounds, Scotland Yard said.

Two men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested nearby on suspicion of murder.

The killing takes the number of homicides in the capital so far this year to 85.

The attack happened a short distance from the victim’s family home, with his father Lamin Kama saying: “Our family are in a lot of distress at the moment.”

His son leaves behind three brothers, he told reporters.

Another member of the Moscow17 collective, 17-year-old Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, was found fatally shot on the same street in May.

The group’s tracks have had hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube and include lyrics hostile to long-running rivals Zone 2, from Peckham.

Earlier this year, Mr Kamara and another member of Moscow17 were cleared at the Old Bailey of murdering teenager Abdirahman Mohamed, a brother of a member of Zone 2.

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Moscow17 rapper Incognito was killed and two others injured in the stabbing (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

In one track, Moscow17 told Zone 2 to “check the scoreboard”, while another asked: “How you gonna make it even?”

A Zone 2 lyric in response told their rivals they would “roll up and burst them”.

Kamara posted on Instagram in early July saying: “Keep Hearing I’m The Next Big Thing, Just Gotta Stay Alive & Out Of Jail,” and had recently said on Twitter: “My Part Of My Hood Is Tragic Right Now … I Walk With Allah Daily I’m Blessed.”

On Thursday Moscow17 posted on Twitter: “Today we have taken a very sad loss … we ask for all prayers be directed towards him and his family,” while other members of the drill rap scene paid tribute online.

Among others paying tribute was rapper Loski, who posted a picture of him on Instagram with the words: “Rest up famo.”

“All my brothers I love you words can’t explain,” he added.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has called on social media platforms like YouTube to remove videos that glamorise violence and, in an interview with Link Up TV earlier this year, Incognito admitted drill music was fuelling violent crime in the capital.

“You see with the crime that’s happening right now, music does influence it. You’ve got to put your hands up and say drill music does influence it,” he said.

“But knife crime and gun crime has been going on way before drill music, so if you want to talk about 10 years, 20 years, people were still getting cheffed up (attacked with knifes).”

He added: “There (are) many ways to solve it – you can bring out youth clubs, you can bring out many other things, invest money in other things to help the community, but you don’t want to do that – you just want to use an excuse with drill music.”

At the time of Barton’s death, his mother, Pretana Morgan, called for a halt to the wave of violence in the capital.

She said: “Let my son be the last and be an example to everyone. Just let it stop. What must be must be.”

On Thursday, a neighbour, who gave his name only as Andy, said: “My dog was going crazy and when I looked out there was this guy lying on the floor.

“It’s getting really rough around here. I’ve lived here on and off for about 15 years. There was a shooting a few months ago.”

Another neighbour, Sidney Virgo, 80, said: “I knew this was going to happen. As soon as kids start gathering that’s when something like this happens.”

He said his neighbour’s son had been seriously stabbed on the estate just over a week ago.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard, who is leading the latest investigation, said: “Another young man has tragically and needlessly lost his life through an act of violence.

“We are keeping an open mind about the positive motive for this attack, but at this early stage one line of inquiry is this being gang-related.”

He appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Harriet Harman, the local MP for Camberwell and Peckham, said that three months ago “there was a great level of anxiety because a young man had been killed on a road in what was feared to be gang-related crime – that anxiety among local people has turned to anger”.

She was speaking outside a community meeting attended by police and council representatives in a hall near where the killing took place.

Ms Harman also said that something has to be done about music on the internet which is being used by gangs to stoke up violence.

Speaking outside the meeting, she described the hotspot as a busy main road with overhanging trees which she said makes for a “very secluded area which in some ways may be nice” but not when it is being used by criminal gangs to get on with their activity.

She added: “The other thing we have been talking about with the mayor’s office and the police is the issue of these videos and this music being used for planning and organising crime, both to incite the other gang, to actually wind them up to incite crime but also to plan crime among themselves with codewords.

“We are used to the idea now that we don’t think it is OK to say it is the freedom of the internet for child pornography (to be made available).

“We say that those social media platforms have got to take that material down because it is being used for perpetrating a crime but that is what is happening now with gangs using the freedom of the internet to plan their crimes and then they use the freedom of the backways of the estates here to carry them out, and drug-related crime.”

CCTV cameras, trimming trees back that may be shading pathways and finding things for young people to do were among the concerns raised at the meeting.

Residents also called for better communication from the police and council about what is being done to make the community feel safe.

Ms Harman added: “I think we have got to have some branches lopped off trees and the immediate injection of cash into the youth services. We have got to have CCTV but we have also got to have more police in the area to disrupt the activity that is being organised on the internet.

“Local residents are saying in there, just as they said three months ago, that there aren’t enough police and not as much police as there used to be and that just means it is a safe haven for people to carry out their criminal acts.”

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