UK rapper Dizzee Rascal will release his new XL/Beggars Group album, Maths & English, in the U.S. on June 5…but only as a digital product in North America. In other words, the music will not go to retail in the US, saving that honor for the U.K. and Europe.
This is the first time the label or artist has tried such a bold maneuver.
"This has a lot do with Dizzee being so hugely popular in Europe," says national sales director for Beggars Group USA Rusty Clarke. "He's committed to doing all the promotion for his album over there. We've always had a difficult time getting him to come over here and do promotion here, and with this album, he's even less available for that."
Maths & English will be available at every digital retailer the label has a deal with, ranging from Apple's iTunes store to eMusic to Other Music. Among the highlights on the 14-cut-strong album is a collaboration with Southern hip hop duo UKG ("Where's Da G's") and U.K. pop singer Lily Allen ("Wannabe").
I'm not sure whether this idea better reflects the new way of selling music in his digi age we live in, or the fact that Dizzee Rascal can't sell albums in America...but, who cares, I like it the forward thinking approach!
Billbord.com: New Dizzee Rascal Goes Digital-Only In U.S.