WILD WEST (CENTRAL CEE)

RELEASED 12TH MARCH 2021

Favourite track: 6 For 6

Great production with verses that tell a story accompanied by perfect use of vocal FX and dreamy instrumentals against harder beats and bass. 

Central Cee is a name I’ve heard a lot about as a young West London rapper making his mark on the UK scene with Drill and Grime influences but I’m keen to actually sit down and listen to a whole collection of songs with his new album Wild West. His biography tells of how he started making music from a young age but over the last year or so he has been getting the attention of big names in the industry. It seems his song ‘Commitment Issues’ from the album has been a favourite on TikTok which I’m sure has helped introduce another demographic to his music. The cover art of this one shows Central Cee posing with an orange backdrop with ‘Wild West’ written in saloon-style font. I like the simplicity of it and I do like the title of this one as not only do we know the term from classic Western movies where you’ve got rivalry and street fights in some American town, it’s also something West London itself is no stranger to.

Image credit: Genius-Lyrics

The album begins with ‘6 For 6’ opening with soft vocals and dreamy acoustic guitar. Then a Drill beat, warping bassline and his rap comes in talking about the struggle of growing up around here and being “hypocritical” and how people treat you differently before success and money. The chorus has great flow and is very catchy. I like the stop-start nature of the beat and the backing melody which has that haunting/on-edge feel. It’s a strong start to this album containing 14 songs. I love the strings that end the song too. The acoustic, soft opening opens the next song ‘Fraud’ before a hard beat and bassline comes in again with his rap. I like the repetitive string melody in the background. There is a contrast between the softer, melancholic side to life against the need to be strong and defensive in the face of a less forgiving environment. ‘Pinging (6 Figures)’ opens with almost an oriental string sound and then some vocal FX before we have a hard UK Drill beat under the rap. This one is about his success and his work towards that which you have to respect. He’s achieved so much already and got the attention of the key people with his own sound and yet chooses to remain independent.

‘The Bag’ starts off with a repeated piano melody and then slowly builds with hi-hat and softly cutting synth before a Drill beat comes in. The rap verses here look at women and money and it’s very catchy. It feels like a roast to the guys who are still standing out on the street begging a girl for her snap…say it louder. ‘Day In The Life’ has a complicated music beginning with dreamy strings and female choral/operatic vocal FX. I like how he raps on serious issues but then also includes these playful lines to his verses. He definitely doesn’t glamorise the lifestyle he raps about in this one and I think that’s the point. ‘Dun Deal’ opens this time with brass instrumental and then heavy bassline and a subtler beat this time. The flow here is great as he talks about life choices, money and how enemies exist at every step not wanting you to get out and succeed.

‘Commitment Issues’ begins with vocal FX and acoustic guitar. I think we all know this one by now and for good reason – it’s a tune. I like the production here. He raps addressing a girl he cares about and apologises for the way he behaves and the situation but also some how remains to be unapologetic. We’ve got more dreamy strings in ‘Sex Money Drugs’ as he raps about lifestyle. I like the bar “all glitter ain’t gold, sugar and salt, it ain’t what it seems” as I think that sums up what he’s trying to say about what comes with money and success.

‘Ruby’ opens almost how a Pop/Jazz song would open with that deep piano and then Hip-Hop light piano on top too. He then mixes this to become a Drill/UK Rap tune with the rap and beat. This one’s dedicated to a girl called “Ruby” in this track who hasn’t had a cushy life. It looks at the struggles in life that people go through round here – both men and women and the line “you’re as cold as ice” and how the road is the same with it’s unforgiving nature. ‘Hate It Or Luv It’ opens with an audio rap and then it becomes clear with verses about “winning” and how “the underdog’s on top”. I like the more electric guitar here. ‘Xmas Eve’ opens with quite a Spanish sounding guitar. It’s very crisp and then you’ve got he warped bassline and heavy beats to add that tension and urgency to it. He lets people where he knows when it comes to getting what he wants “this is business, so I’m emotionless”.

We’ve got some lovely old school Jazzy sounds opening ‘Loading’ and it works so well as a melody under this rap and beat. The brass instruments with beats is a very Hip-Hop influence and I think this mix of instruments and beats combines the traditional with the modern when it comes to music but also what it represents and he’s achieved that with this one. ‘Tension’ starts off so chill with this dreamy synth key sound and vocal FX ad-lib. Then this chill is disrupted with his rap and the beat. The final track ‘Gangbiz’ reflects on his childhood and his attitude with his family. I love the haunting vocal FX in the background under the beats and rap.

This one is great to listen to when working out as it’s full of beats/bass but I’d also have it for a late night car drive through London of course.