South London drill artist DigDat first released "Air Force" in August 2018. The video hit a million views in just a few days, highlighting the increased interest in drill music.
The song title refers to the Air Force athletic shoe, a range of trainers made by Nike, Inc. The original Air Force 1 was created for outdoor basketball but has since been adopted by rappers worldwide.
Had to run a boy down in my Air Force, pissed
Cos now they got a crease in the middle
Dig Dat is expressing his annoyance that having chased down someone hard in a rival gang, he now has a crease at the front of his trainers.
A few months later, a remix was dropped on November 22, 2018 featuring three additional verses from rappers Krept & Konan and drill artist K Trap. The new version entered the UK singles chart at #20, marking the first time a UK drill track had cracked the Top 20.
Drill music is a style of hip-hop with trap beats that originated in the South Side of Chicago in the early 2010s and is noted for its graphic lyrical content. Some of the first drill artists to achieve commercial success include Young Chop, Chief Keef and Lil Durk.
UK drill borrows heavily from the style of Chicago drill music. The genre, which originated in South London has come under heavy scrutiny as drill musicians often rap about a violent and hedonistic criminal lifestyle resulting in some authorities accusing it of inciting violence. Others argue drill is just a form of expression in which the artists are merely talking about what's going on in their neighborhood.