Central Cee came from nothing to become one of the UK’s biggest rap stars, but he’s still haunted and motivated by his days in Shepherd’s Bush. Baring his soul about his past sins and current stardom, Cench shares “Ungrateful,” the latest video from his new mixtape 23. Nimbly navigating a wistful instrumental from Levi Lennox, Cench digs deep, speaking the truth about his reluctant stardom and wondering if he truly deserves the success he achieved: “No such thing as positive thinkin’, when you’re locked in, it feel like a maze,” he spits. Despite the song’s title, Cench is anything but ungrateful, as he thanks the people who paved the path that he’s chosen, including iconic UK acts like Giggs, Skepta, and Dave, and gives a special shout out to his manager: “Uh, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if it weren’t for the man before me/I show respect where it’s due/Where would I be if I never met YBeeez?” In the video, Central relaxes in a luxurious flat, counting his cash as he wonders whether it was all worth it.
“Ungrateful” is the latest in a line of videos from 23, following the multi-lingual clip for “Eurovision” (9.7 million views), which peaked at #1 on YouTube’s trending chart, and the exhilarating clip for “Straight Back To It,” a new smash that has over 15 million combined streams and sits at #45 on the UK Official Charts. A matured and elevated sound, the 15 track project delves deeper into Cench’s mysterious character, sharing some of his most personal moments to date, alongside singles like “Retail Therapy,” a hard-hitting, jazz-sampling video single (8+ million views), and “Cold Shoulder,” which explores the realities of Central Cee’s past and the process he’s currently going through, “Khabib,” which racked up more than 4 million YouTube views in just its first week of release (8.5 million views to date), and debuted at #22 on the UK’s Official Charts.
The culmination of a year-long run that has seen Cench emerge as perhaps the biggest breakout star in the UK rap scene, with over 1 billion streams across platforms, 23 made its debut at #1 on the UK Official Charts. The album has remained near the top of the charts, where it currently sits at #10, and has since become the top-selling rap album in the UK in 2022 (41k units to date). Beyond sales, the album earned rapturous acclaim from the global press.
Central Cee is taking over and the 23 mixtape’s arrival is certain to propel him even further on his unparalleled journey from West London’s Shepherd’s Bush to the ranks of hip-hop’s global elite.
Watch “Ungrateful”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtmqU4J-5X8
Buy/Stream 23: https://ada.lnk.to/Cench23
Buy Central Cee merch: https://ada.lnk.to/23-Store