Oakley Neil H. T. Caesar-Su — professionally known as Central Cee — hails from Shepherd’s Bush in London. Central Cee has solidified his status as one of London’s most promising up-and-coming talents, crafting a dynamic sound rooted in drill music characterized by his distinctive voice, relentless flows, and gripping narratives of street life.
Central Cee Music Proliferates the Market
Although Central Cee embarked on his musical journey as an underground artist in 2014, it wasn’t until 2020 that he achieved mainstream success with the release of the hit singles “Molly” and “Loading.” These songs, along with “Day in the Life,” catapulted him to fame as a prominent figure in the West London drill rap scene, positioning him as a rising star and a promising force in the world of hip hop. In only a few short years on the scene, Central Cee has taken his love of hip hop, merged it with the sounds he holds most dear, and forged a singular path that has kept him at the forefront of the genre.
His accomplishments continued to mount with the release of the Wild West mixtape in 2021, along with subsequent singles like “Obsessed with You” from his chart-topping mixtape 23 in 2022. The song “Doja,” reaching the number two spot, further extended his impressive streak ahead of the No More Leaks EP, leaving fans wanting more.
Notably, on June 1, 2023, Central Cee collaborated with Dave to release the joint single “Sprinter,” which served as the lead track for their surprise-released EP, Split Decision, on June 5. “Sprinter” marked a significant milestone in Central Cee’s career as it became his first number one single and set a new record for the highest streaming week for a rap song in the history of the UK. Additionally, it held the record for the longest-running number-one rap single in the UK.
In late June, Central Cee was featured in XXLMagazine‘s 2023 Freshman Class, and shortly thereafter, he announced his deal with Columbia Records. On July 21, Central Cee dropped his “On the Radar” freestyle featuring Drake, which debuted at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking his first entry onto the chart. But certainly not his last.
Central Cee Songs to Remember
Between this runaway mainstream success and his early beginnings, Central Cee songs shout out his earliest influences in early British hip hop and TrapWave to his current UK drill sound. As he has experimented with each sound, he has taken his fan base with him. With influences from Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole to Jay-Z and NBA Youngboy, he has paved his own path with a formidable, innovative sound. The following songs are the Central Cee music for your next playlist.
- “Molly” (2020) – With a beat this hard and a hook this volcanic, it was easy to see why the gritty drill track resonated with fans and gave audiences another reason to proclaim Central Cee as one of the next big things in mainstream hip hop.
- “Loading” (2020) – Credited with changing the direction of mainstream hip hop and putting a fresh face at the forefront of the sound, Central Cee took drill, turned it on its head, and never looked back.
- “Ruby” (2021) – In this release from his highly anticipated mixtape <em>Wild West</em>, Central Cee proves his exceptional storytelling skills about street life and the repercussions through the eyes of the titular Ruby.
- “Meant To Be” (2021) – Stay Flee Get Lizzy and Fredo join Central Cee on this headbanger. Just in time for the summer, “Meant To Be” brought these three talents together and featured thrilling drill production, melodic flowest, and some of the slickest wordplay laid out that year. All told, the trip made West London proud.
- “Day in the Life” (2021) – This autobiographical track covers Central Cee’s early life as a drug dealer and blasts those who judge him. The poignancy resonates through each measure, and his raw emotion is visceral.
- “Commitment Issues” (2021) – Even the hardest rappers have a soft spot, and on this track, Central Cee laments and then lays it all on the line for his significant other. However, he admits his shortcomings on the track and that he is human, after all.
- “6 for 6” (2021) – With a reference to arguably the greatest NBA player of all time — Michael Jordan — Central Cee spits hard about his former life as a drug dealer and brings listeners up to the present day, recalling the sacrifices he made to get there. Is Central Cee the future GOAT of hip hop? Fans will have to stay tuned.
- “Overseas” (2021) – Central Cee collaborates here with D-Block Europe, Young Adz, and Dirtbike LB. The TrapWave officially factors into the mix, giving listeners a unique sound that melded elements of hip hop, trap, and R&B music. With this release, the message was clear — the future of rap had arrived!
- “Obsessed With You” (2022) – Featuring a sample of Pink Pantheress‘s single “Just for Me”, Central Cee extended the life of the song by taking the snippet and running with it. He put his own unique spin on it and, in the process, secured yet another high-peaking single to add to his growing list of hits in his still-young career.
- “LET GO” (2022) – With this love song featuring a sample from the singer-songwriter Passenger, Central Cee laid gentle vocals and added an edgy rap to extol the emotional rollercoaster a woman has put him through.
The Future of Hip Hop has Been Central-ized!
Central Cee’s meteoric rise in the world of hip hop cannot be compared to any of his predecessors and that is where the intrigue lies. His ability to seamlessly blend drill and rap elements with compelling storytelling not only sets him apart but also hints at the evolution of hip hop. Fans can expect more chart-topping hits, record-breaking accomplishments, and collaborations with industry giants. Central Cee’s impact is undeniable, and he is a shining symbol of the genre’s vibrant future.