D-Block Europe

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About D-Block Europe

“We’re the ones that are pushing this boundary,” D-Block Europe’s Young Adz told Apple Music. “People who are signing urban music over here—they call it urban, we call it pop in the streets—that ain’t street music. We’re doing street, UK, wavy music, front-lining it.” They might not consider themselves pop, but by the most literal definition, DBE is just that. Chart positions, sold-out arenas, and a nomination for the 2020 BRIT Award for British Group (before they’d even released a debut album) all make them one of UK rap’s most popular acts. D-Block Europe was originally a collective that called upon various London MCs, but Adz and childhood friend Dirtbike LB have emerged as both the engine room and executive board of the operation. They met at Sedgehill School in South London, where Adz was dropping mixtapes from the age of 13. He signed an ultimately fruitless major-label deal at 15 before coming under the patronage of NY rap heavyweight Jadakiss, who offered features, support slots, and license to use The LOX’s D-Block Records name. With a series of self-released singles and mixtapes, Young Adz and Dirtbike LB took their place at UK rap’s top table during the late 2010s. Leavening trap’s chilly textures and portraits of road life with sticky Auto-Tuned hooks, their music is notable for its nimble wordplay and candor. While D-Block quickly gathered notoriety for their unfiltered bedroom braggadocio (“Kitchen Kings”), their willingness to open up about mental health and therapy (“Prescription Drugs”) has made them a standout presence in UK rap. It’s all been done independently by the industrious duo (63 new tracks released across three mixtapes during 2019 alone). They’ve continuously waved away offers from labels, confident that no one can guide their career as well as they can. Every award, Top 5 release, or filled arena only strengthens their self-belief. “When you see Messi kick ball, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Young Adz. “Sometimes, the people have to choose you because they’re like, ‘We ain’t never going to see this again—from their sounds, from what they talk about.’ Our personalities shine through our music. We’re bigger personalities than rappers.”

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