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Open’er 2023. Central Cee one of the stars of the festival. Who is the drill rapper?

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It is no coincidence that Central Cee will play in Gdynia on the main stage, opening this year’s Open’er. He is currently one of the most popular young rappers in the world and an absolutely leading representative of the so-called. British drill. What is the phenomenon of a 25-year-old Londoner and what exactly is a drill?

This year’s Open’er starts on Wednesday. The first performer to play on the main stage of the Gdynia festival will be Central Cee. This is the second performance of the 25-year-old in Poland, a year ago he played at the Fest Festival in Chorzów. On the same day, One Republic, Lizzo and Lil Nas X will appear on the Main Stage, and on other stages, among others, will perform. Paolo Nutini, Jann or Catz ‘n Dogz.

Open’er 2023. Wednesday line-up

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Central Cee at Open’er. Who is the 25-year-old?

Central Cee, aka Oakley Neil HT Caesar-Su, grew up in West London in Shepherd’s Bush. His mother is Irish and his father is from Guyana. The Briton took up music at the age of 13. As he told the Guardian in April, he was inspired by his dad’s musical taste, who played older generation rap albums in his car, and the diverse sound of the environment in which he grew up. As a teenager, he took various temporary jobs. He also admitted that he was selling drugs. – Where I come from, 9 out of 10 people have to go through this. It’s like learning to ride a bike,” Cee said.

Entering adulthood, Cench, as his friends call him, was staring at the rap subgenre, which was reaching its apogee, especially overseas, at that time. He also often used auto-tune, a synthesizer that corrects the pitch of sounds and vocal effects. There were a lot of sung fragments in his pieces. It was nothing like the rough style that is his hallmark today. He made a brother under the influence of “najka”, also a rapper, who composed verses “to real rap, painful foundations, like Mobb Deep beats”, the 25-year-old explained to the “Guardian”.

Central CeeBarry Brecheisen/Getty Images

Drill – what’s that music?

This is how Central Cee turned towards the drill, which today is an absolutely leading representative, and on a global scale. What exactly is a drill? It is a subgenre of rap, characterized primarily by an aggressive, lively, and at the same time heavy sound. In terms of bass lines and other musical nuances, it is very similar to trap – the line between them is thin and flexible. Trap, however, more willingly reaches for the aforementioned auto-tune and more lively melodies. Drill, on the other hand, is usually a bit slower, changing the pace and rhythm less often.

Trap and drill are also slightly different in the text layer. A standard trap is a classic hip-hop “transportation”, i.e. bragging usually focused on money and the profits associated with it, while drill texts revolve rather around street, even gangster threads. But these themes are intertwined on both sides of the border. Drill representatives, especially the younger ones, willingly mention their wealth, and trap performers do not shy away from throwing in about dealers and shootings. Besides, trappers often experiment with a drill, and vice versa.

Both subgenres, like most rap novelties, were born in USA. Trap was created in the 1990s in Atlanta, Chicago is credited with being the birthplace of the drill. The first drill bits appeared over 10 years ago. Raw style and gangster vibes were quickly picked up by rappers in the British Isles. Tam drill has completely dominated the hip-hop scene in the last decade. He became so popular that the authorities attributed to him the rise of crime in British estates, especially in London. Think tank Policy Exchange in a report two years ago even stated that 37 percent. homicides committed there in 2018 were related to the drill. The report was criticized by criminologists, but the very fact that it was made shows the importance of this musical style.

“Doja”, “Sprinter”, “Let Her Go”. Central Cee Hits

Central Cee’s popularity skyrocketed after the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19. In 2020, during the first lockdown, a freestyle released by a Londoner about covid, recorded to the beat of Akon’s “Locked Up”, resonated widely on the web. In the following months, two Cee singles, “Day in the Life” and “Loading”, were released. At the end of the year, the rapper was so recognizable that he appeared in the promotional campaign of the Nike collection signed with the nickname Drake – reminds “Guardian”.

Released in early 2021, the mixtape “Wild West” was the best-selling debut in the UK and brought the young rapper three nominations for the BRIT Awards. His first studio album, “23”, released in 2022, was one of the best-selling records in the UK for many months. Several songs from it, headed by “Obsessed With You”, hit the top of the charts. The last two singles also quickly gained hit status: “Let Her Go”, based on a sample from Passenger’s 2012 hit, and “Sprinter”, which featured Dave, another British drill star. The first single on the Spotify platform already has almost 300 million plays, the second has collected over 90 million plays in less than a month since its release.

However, “Doja” is the most played song from Cee, which is slowly approaching the 500 million mark. The title of the 2022 single refers to the popular American rapper Doja Cat. The viral song used a sample from “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”, Gwen Stefani’s club hit from 20 years ago. The lyrics of “Doja” are generally catchy, playful and not very engaging, but “The Guardian” notes the recurring line “How can I be homophobic? My bitch is gay!” “In the world of rap, which is not always progressive towards the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, this primitive line can be treated as well as a rainbow flag,” the daily writes.

SEE ALSO: Singer hit in the head with phone during concert. She went to the hospital

“Guardian”, The Independent”, Open’er, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

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