• Hiba hassan

Central Cee releases ode to his up-bringing in Wild West

X marks the spot when it comes to music hailing from West London these days, Aj Tracey, Digga D, Fredo, Wstrn and now Central Cee, there is a common ally of growth. His come-up did not happen over-night and with a quick google, you can find a baby-faced Cee experimenting with his sound from as early as 16 years-old. Born in West London, more specifically Shepherds Bush - Ladbroke Grove sides, he has always utilised his Dad’s unique taste in music and his undeniable talent from a young age. He is the talk of the town, with the mixtape coming in at number 2 on the UK Official Charts.

The class clash is evident for anyone who was raised on the western sides of London, sometimes causing frustration or attainable motivation to have and get more. Many bus routes like the 52, 16, 18, take you through the most affluent areas in the country like Kensington and Chelsea, all the way through zones that embrace notability for contrasting reasons. It really is the Wild West, having you either conform to your side of a bus route or transform you and for Central Cee, it was the latter. Still always keeping West London close to his heart, with his latest ode to his area. The project is a highly anticipated no feature, 14-track official introduction into the industry, causing a mixed reaction, it is a project that is perfect for any given setting but also depicting real and necessary emotion.

We are witnessing the Golden Age of Drill, with many different branches to the sound forming all the time, but Central Cee has clear inspiration from all music, from jazz to reggae, he is keen not to be tied down to a singular genre. Many tracks on the mixtape have been taken in before this release; Loading, Commitment Issues, Day in The Life, Pinging (Six Figures), and 6 for 6, have been extremely successful in captivating audiences. It begins with 6 for 6, a shiny, honest, assertion of his work ethic and well-deserved place in music: “Put in the work for years for this, this ain’t no coincidence/I did have to take them trips.”

There is a detached tone throughout while explaining the past actions that can have him be the man behind a now memorable project behind West. Beyond his journey, Cee also brings to life tales of societal issues around him, like sexism, drugs, and broken homes in track 9, Ruby. And highlights the struggle of rappers from working-class backgrounds in Hate It or Luv It. in an interview with Complex, he says that “Growing up in West, income inequality was so much clearer—the contrast was really in your face. Seeing all the big yards in Holland Park every day on my way to school actually made me realise that it was attainable from a young age.”

He’s already bagged two Top 20 singles and accumulates around 2.7 million monthly Spotify listeners, boasting in his track Pinging (six figures), that he turned down six figures to go independent. The mixtape is a collection of his acclaimed introduction into the charts, rounding off the second chapter of his career. I say second as Central Cee has had many phases in perfecting his sound, he credits himself for writing bars since the age of 12. And recognisably did not always stay on the path of rap, his last Next Up on Mixtape only a year ago, shows the gravity of hard work and finding what works for you. The now 22-year-old has been waiting from around 2016 to have his time in the industry.

Notably, he has only used the same producer twice on the mixtape, Young Chencs but, we also heard brand-new material from producers JB Made It and Hargo. Providing their jumpy, melodic beat, Cee can clearly project his sole vocals and remain at the forefront of his journey.

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