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Central Cee unveils brooding new single ‘Khabib’ – listen

It's the opening track from forthcoming mixtape '23'

By Joe Goggins

Central Cee press shot, 2022
'Khabib' is the fourth cut from '23'. (Photo: Press)

Central Cee has unveiled a fourth track from his forthcoming mixtape – you can see the video below.

‘Khabib’, which was produced by 3lackondabeat, is the third single from the London rapper to be taken from his ’23’ mixtape, on which it will be the opening track when it’s released later this month (February 25). The brooding cut is named after the Russian UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, sampling a famous speech the mixed martial artist made to a booing crowd in the outro.

The arresting video, directed by Kunography, was shot among the mountains of Snowdonia, Wales. The song sees Cee addressing the wave of success he’s currently riding with the line “the power’s strong, where am I now? I been on the charts for 18 weeks.”

The Shepherd’s Bush rising star has three songs on the UK Top 40 at the time of writing; his collaboration with D-Block Europe, ‘Overseas’, is at number six, while ‘Cold Shoulder’ and ‘Retail Therapy’ are at 25 and 36, respectively. Cee – who was born Oakley Neil H T Caesar-Su – was nominated in three categories at Tuesday night’s (February 8) BRIT Awards, but failed to take home any gongs. He was up for Best New Artist, Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act, and Best British Song, for ‘Obsessed with You’.

Despite this, his 2022 looks certain to be a bright one. He was among the nominees for the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2022 poll, eventually losing out to PinkPantheress. He also made his film soundtrack debut last year, collaborating with FKA twigs for the song ‘Measure of a Man’, which featured in the spy thriller ‘The King’s Man’. ’23’ will be the follow-up to last year’s ‘Wild West’ mixtape, which peaked at number 2 on the UK album chart and has been certified gold. The sprawling track listing for ’23’, which Cee is set to self-release, is below.

  1. ‘Khabib’
  2. ‘Straight Back to It’
  3. ‘Ungrateful’
  4. ‘Bunda’
  5. ‘Retail Therapy’
  6. ‘Eurovision’
  7. ‘Cold Shoulder’
  8. ‘Mrs’
  9. ‘Air Bnb’
  10. ‘No Pain’
  11. ‘Terminal 5’
  12. ‘Obsessed with You’
  13. ‘8 Ball’
  14. ‘Lil Bro’
  15. ‘End of the Beginning’