There are some people who – for better or for worse – set the standard for what is to come. For instance, Odell Beckham Jr.’s unbelievable one-handed catch in his rookie season encouraged an entire generation of one-handed pass catchers. Pop Smoke’s undeniable magnetism and drill sound spanned worldwide drill artists to try their hand at that type of hip-hop style.
“I wasn’t thinkin’ about the masses yet, I was thinkin ’bout my hood.
You know what I’m saying? I’m like, “Nah, I got to drop another one for the hood”
Merci Beaucoup – Pop Smoke
Now, we have all witnessed the boatload of artists around the world who have tried to make their mark on the drill scene within hip-hop. It seems as if they eventually reach a point where only so much potential increase/elevation is possible. Enter Central Cee a.k.a. Cench.
Born Oakley Neil Caesar-Su [Ladbroke Grove] – this man from Great Britain is a student of the game. He is a marketing genius and waited his turn/put in his just due before storming upon the top of the UK drill scene.
For what it’s worth – his mother is Irish and his father is Guyanese with Chinese descent. Hence, this chameleon of an artist has quite the eclectic background from the United Kingdom.
With a strong jawline and attractive demeanor, he influences his audience much like A$AP Rocky during the Tumblr era. Appearance aside, this man can flow and provides a spark unto the saturated drill subgenre.
As time went on, he edged past the cookie-cutter autotune output and into more grimey lyricism that demanded respect. Frequenting the U.K. Carnival allowed him to soak up vibes and game from the same types of people he would ultimately end up performing in front of at Wireless Festival.
It is evident that Central Cee has a cobra-grip stronghold on contemporary culture. He understands what works and how to eclipse the “cap” placed upon most drill artists. As he continues to rise, his tactics continue to grow more advanced and extraordinary.
Some ways that this man thinks outside the box is by way of guerrilla marketing. For instance, to promote his ‘Wild West’ project he rode throughout the streets on a horse with wanted posters. Also, he gave an impromptu performance atop a van in Wendell Park [Hammersmith.]
Ultimately, controversy sells. His lyrics on the song “Doja” really started to get people chirping. His alleged homophobic lyric cannot be the case because his girl is actually lesbian.
Many people have been hip to him since he modeled in Drake’s Nike Line, “NOCTA.” Others might have just caught wind of him recently after his incredible LA Leakers Freestyle. He was extremely smart to rap how he did while in the States because the song almost turned into a Google Translate session.
The most valuable takeaway provided by the likes of Central Cee is the way he changed our perspective with this statement –
“For disenfranchised and ignored youth recording music is therapeutic. It creates a direct feedback loop and correlates to them being heard.” [Paraphrased]
After winning the 2021 MOBO Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Drill Act.
“I think that everybody in that room has won already. Before I got that award, I had already won. I don’t need that award to tell me that I won. And no one else should neither, innit.”Central Cee