2019 was D Block Europe’s (DBE) year. Déjà vu. I said the same thing in 2018. However, the rap group from Lewisham, South London, went from strength to strength. They recently dropped their third mixtape of 2019, Street Trauma, on a Weezy-esque run. From the shows to places the down below, D Block have majorly impacted UK rap and UK culture. They have inspired people to be honest, work hard and take risks. Young Adz and Dirtbike LB are simply themselves and we don’t want them to change.
DBE dropped Home Alone on February 15th 2019 and that set the tone for their progression. They fed the fans with the 19-song body of work, which includes bangers like Kitchen Kings, Running Man and Kettle Pouring.
Their casual and candid style of music videos really struck me as they are filmed in apartments, cars and at shows, rather than sets for big budget music videos (excluding Playing for Keeps). This gives the fan a more authentic view of how the duo actually live, breaking down the barrier between the fans and the musicians. This has really helped them to garner support, with all three mentioned songs touching over 1 million views (Kitchen Kings currently has 20 million views and capitalised off of the reputation that they had built up during 2018).
Then things went mad. DBE shut down the summer with singles like Rich (with Offset on the Plug Talk mixtape by the Plug), Love of My Life (just Young Adz and Not3s) and Home P*ssy. They also came out at wireless for the US superstars, Future and Lil Baby. This Lil Baby connection even led to their single Nookie, which featured on their tape, PTSD along with Home P*ssy.
PTSD cemented D Block’s hold on the game and showed us that they were the waviest and that their stock was still rising with no sign of stopping. The tape featured more themes of their interaction with female genitalia, which I feel has actually led to more open discussions about whether the mandem are bowcats or not – shoutout Gasworks. I say this because guys have to respect them for their boldness and they’ve maintained their respect from the seemingly tough guys in the game. I wouldn’t say that DBE are feminists but they’re definitely helping young women and men alike at the moment.
As if this wasn’t enough, they announced tour dates, including Alexandra Palace, which they sold out twice. Fully independent and unexpected. They took the risk and it paid off. “Ally Pally twice…that’s like four times Brixton”. Adz is quick to jokingly remind Dave in their music video Playing For Keeps, that the pair sold out over 20,000 tickets, with the first batch of tour dates at the London venue selling out in minutes. It goes without saying that they destroyed the shows “respectably” as Adz importantly pointed out in a public service announcement on his Instagram.
And let’s talk about the actual music. They blessed us with 28 songs this time. Standouts being Outside, Darling and Whole Summer in addition to Nookie, Home P*ssy and Playing For Keeps as previously mentioned. Work rate crazy! They said that they had around 300 songs together in May of 2019, in an interview with Krept & Konan on Beats 1 and this number has only risen. This work rate meant that they were able to reach a peak chart position of number 4 and first-week sales beaten only by Skepta and Dave (in terms of UK rappers) at the time for 2019.
Finally, onto Street Trauma. They planted the seeds for this fruit on November 7th, with Adz asking for 100,000 comments on his Instagram post in order for another mixtape to drop after the tour. And look at what happened. December 27th. 16 songs. D Block Europe are not going anywhere.