'D-Block Europe are titans of UK rap': Inside EGA Distro's chart-topping album campaign

'D-Block Europe are titans of UK rap': Inside EGA Distro's chart-topping album campaign

D-Block Europe have landed their first ever No.1 album.

The prolific UK rap duo finished ahead of 21 Savage with their latest album, Rolling Stone, which had opening sales of 18,397 (Official Charts Company), including 10,715 physical copies, 7,490 sales-equivalent streams and 192 downloads.

The chart result means that D-Block Europe reclaim their title as the British rap act with the most Top 10 albums chart entries, with eight in total. The Streets had pulled level with DBE on seven in October 2023.

It also marks a strong start to the year and first No.1 for Colin Batsa’s EGA Distro. The distribution company launched last year with backing from Virgin Music and Universal Music. 

Rolling Stone is D-Block Europe’s third full-length album, in addition to six mixtapes – all released since 2018. It is their eighth consecutive Top 10 entry in the last five years.

DBE have six gold-certified albums with chart sales across all albums and mixtapes totaling 1,253,415. Their biggest seller to date is 2019’s PTSD (278,533), followed by 2020’s The Blue Print – Us Vs Them (239,700) and 2021’s Home Alone 2 (210,265).

Home Alone 2 delivered their biggest weekly sale (15,478) up until their No.1 result with new album Rolling Stone. D-Block Europe have previously managed a No.2 peak for The Blue Print: Us Vs. Them and Lap 5 in 2022.

Rolling Stone, which features Yxng Bane, US rapper Kodak Black and Albanian artist Noizy, was No.1 on the Official Record Store Chart, as the most purchased album of the past seven days in the UK’s independent record stores. 

The No.1 album isn’t the work of just one campaign, it’s the hard work put in across all their previous projects

Ali Neale

D-Block Europe’s Eagle feat. Noizy charted at No.19 to become their 30th Top 40 single. They are also at No,6 with Prada, a non-album collaboration with Cassö & Raye.

The Lewisham-formed rap duo are now gearing up to play four dates at the O2 Arena next month and a show at the AO Arena in Manchester.

Here, Ali Neale, general manager, EGA Distro, reacts to D-Block Europe’s latest chart achievement, reflects on the duo’s staggering run of success and looks ahead to their huge live dates next month…

How did you achieve this No.1 result against some tough competition? 

“At the core of it, it’s brilliant music made by a phenomenal group with the most prolific track record out there. The No.1 album this week isn’t the work of just one campaign, it’s the hard work put in across all their previous projects and long before that. This journey has been led by their incredible manager Wes, who has always stuck to what he, Young Adz and LB believe in. He has never been phased by what’s going on around him. This has allowed D-Block Europe to carve their own path and ensure they have longevity, continue to break records and reach new heights.” 

The physical sales were particularly strong for this album? Was there a bigger push on that front, particularly with this being a full album release rather than a mixtape?

“The body language for an album always reflects a larger project, and the aim is always to sell more than previous albums. On this occasion, more physical copies were sold as we were able to capitalise on the momentum of the ticket sales in our pre-order window. That, coupled with a unique and explosive brand collaboration with Broken Planet, saw D-Block Europe take physical sales to the next level this time around.” 

Ali Neale

After their chart record for UK rap last year, where do D-Block stand in the genre? Where can they go from here in the UK and internationally?

“D-Block Europe are titans of UK rap. They stand with the very best to ever do it, and deservedly so. The numbers don’t lie, nobody can debate that. In the UK, we will see more records broken, and watch them continue to defy the laws of what’s possible. This methodology applies on a global level and I strongly believe in their future success outside of the UK, with a big focus on the US.”

What can people expect from their O2 Arena and Ao Arena shows next month? How strong are their ticket sales?

“These will be the shows of a lifetime for D-Block Europe fans. Young Adz and LB are truly at home on the big stage. Ticket sales have been unprecedented, nobody in the rap game is selling them like they are. The first two O2 arenas sold out in as many days, and in under a week the third had sold out before the fourth was announced. It will be a complete sell-out in Manchester and across all four London nights. This will see DBE make history again, as the first UK rap artists to sell out four consecutive nights at the historic venue.”

Finally, what does this result mean for you and EGA Distro – and how can you build on this success throughout 2024?

“I am immensely proud and happy for D-Block Europe, nobody deserves it more than them. Having worked on all eight DBE projects, it means a great deal to me, but the greater win than my own personal feelings is that of the team and EGA Distro as a company. As a small business in its first year, every person has played a vital role in this campaign and contributed to its success. It’s the perfect momentum to take us into a busy year, with blockbuster signings. These are all courtesy of our president Colin Batsa, the best Black music A&R in the UK.”


author twitter FOLLOW Andre Paine

For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to receive our daily Morning Briefing newsletter

subscribe link free-trial link

follow us...