A new year brings different opportunities and bring out the best in artists. A chance to really make a mark and staple their imprint within the music scene. 2021 saw the emergence of prominent artists killing features, singles and dropping classic bodies of work. The rise of popular artist Ardee was a staple example to see from an up and coming artist. The maturity and growth from household name Ghetts was seen when he dropped his classic album, which really saw the whole of the UK embrace him as a true UK favourite. Tion Wayne went on a prolific run of releasing hit after hit with “Body” featuring Russ being crowned as the most watched music video of the year. We are excited to see who will really make 2022 their year. I have predicted that this could be a good year for 3 artists that have had their music causing waves within the scene. Check them out below.
Central Cee’s rise in 2021 was monumental. It all began with consistent releases of popping singles and his mixtape titled “Wild West.” The long awaited mixtape dropped on 12th March 2021 and it propelled Central Cee into the midst of top names in the rap scene where it debuted at number 2 in the charts. The rapper matched the anticipation with a great roll-out, utilising his upcoming brand to collaborate with fashion designers during the promotion campaign. This included a significant collaboration with the well-known high street fashion brand Trapstar for a #letsseeifyoureallytrap limited collection fashion haul. This ranged from hoodies, full tracksuits and hats. The rapper was also seen riding a horse in West London with the album title imprinted on the horses garment. Central Cee then followed this up with a customised Rolls Royce which had a jet black exterior and orange interior which matched the colour theme of his mixtape and clothing collaborations.
The rapper took his status to new level as he was then spotted modelling for US superstar Drake’s clothing collaboration with Nike called NOCTA. This was seen on Central Cee’s Instagram, where he is seen in multiple shots modelling different sets of clothing from the NOCTA range. This included the iconic yellow gloves and black gilet. The significance of the involvement with the NOCTA range highlighted the levels the rapper had reached. Where a huge artist like Drake is recognising his emerging dominance within the UK scene.
Central Cee’s single titled “Obsessed With You” taken from a PinkPantheress sample really showed the UK the rappers domination in the charts. With the single peaking at number 4 in the charts and spending a whopping total of 14 weeks there. This chart domination can be rivalled with UK superstars such as Dave, Stormzy and rap group D Block Europe. The music video for this song featuring influencer Kenza has garnered 17 million views within a month and was labelled as one of the quickest videos to reach a million views by a UK artist.
He joins the UK rap elites as he has been nominated for a number of awards at the BRITS 2022 award ceremony. These include “Song of the Year” with “Obsessed with you,” “Best New Artist” and “Hip Hop, Grime and Rap artist”. Highlighting the significant year the rapper has had, showing that doing things as an independent artist can really work wonders for your brand and implement your name within the world of music.
Last year was just the beginning for Cench’s promising career. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2022 as he confirmed that his new mixtape titled “23” will be released on February 25th. Snippets of songs have been released during the wait for this mixtape drop. With a short preview of a song featuring UK rap star Chip doing the rounds on social media.
North West London rapper Knucks had a successful 2021 with his massive hit song “Los Pollos Hermanos” ringing off on your favourite rappers playlists. The smooth sounding flow and catchy bars were a hit among fans. There was a level of familiarity to fans with a reference to the popular show “Breaking Bad” on this track. The song has passed over 22 million streams on Spotify alone. This comes off of the back of Knucks break out song “Home.” A heartfelt song that pays tribute to the concerning knife crime in London and the everyday trials people face growing up in their areas in London. A rapper that touches on raw subjects that fans can relate to is a formula for success and this is what we expect from Knucks in 2022.
Knucks “London Class” released in September 2020 really showed the rappers lyrical ability and the style he adds to the growing UK music scene. A tape that showcases the rappers versatility as we saw him collaborate with artists across a variety of genres such as Sam Wise, KXYZ and Kadiata. The skits include in this EP contained phrases from important black figures such as Dave Chapelle and Akala talk about the state of the treatment of black people across the globe really hits home with listeners. The rapper’s stock has risen since this release as he went on to work with Puma Sport Style in the Suede Music Studio by late 2020.
The rapper has been recognised by BBC1XTRA as he was placed on the #Hotfor2022 list. A huge nod to the future as he is touted to do big things. With a history of two headline shows, the rapper is no stranger to all eyes being on him due to the quality of his music. #NoDaysOff is his slogan and that’s exactly what he sticks to. The level of consistency from Knucks is something that will take the rapper straight to the top. His involvement with BBC1XTRA has really shown his talent. This was seen on his Street Heat freestyle with popular DJ Tiffany Calver in September 2021.
Having had the baton passed to the rapper by the UK GOAT Wretch 32 himself as seen on the song “The Baton” featuring himself, Wretch 32 and Avelino, Knucks is taking it all in his stride. His interviews with magazines such as Wonderland and Notion give an insight into the man behind the bars and gives his fans an opportunity to see the talent and versatility the rapper possesses. A GQ feature on his birthday showed the levels that Knucks has come through since entering the scene. It will be a good 2022 for the rapper for sure – with a lot of exciting music to be released as the year progresses.
BenjiFlow is a sound man who can’t be defined into a box or genre of music. His sound is universal and it’s wavey. Vibes run whenever a BenjiFlow tune comes on. He has been steadily mastering his craft since his emergence into the scene in 2018. An artist that has professed that he is influenced by rhythmic sounds from across the world. An artist that truly loves the art behind music and is an individual that you can class as a real talent. A music icon that is in the scene purely for the love of the music.
His talent and love of raw musical sounds can be seen in all of singles. The emergence of his talent with his single “Deep End” was a refreshing sound that the UK needed within the scene. An artist that stays in his own lane and makes it work while capturing fans across different genres. His consistency is marvelled – an artist that believes in quality over quantity when it comes to the release of his music. There have been many hit singles along the way such as “Can’t Lose, Jolene” and his big hit in 2021 titled “My Bella” featuring Oxlade. The self-acclaimed “Selenki Sound Man” can do it all and this is seen in the articulation in his music videos. An artist that is well versed in embracing his roots and is not afraid to include well-choreographed moves to his music videos. This can be seen in his music video for “My Bella” directed by Charlie Di Placido where he showcases his ability to move silkily to his own sound.
BenjiFlow’s live sessions are where the artist really shows his unique ability to engage a crowd. His ability to sing his verses while playing along on the piano are a wholesome touch to his image. The inclusion of a choir to sing the vocals along with him and the crowd is special. The latest video of this can be seen with this latest single “My Bella.” A video that has gone viral on social media which has brought a new influx of fans to the artist. The vibes are infectious and it can also be seen on his first Boiler Room set for “Deep End” released in 2018.
This year promises to be a good one for the artist as he is in preparation for the release of his EP titled “The Thrill” in January. This promises to be an 8 track EP full of different sounds. This comes as no surprise for BenjiFlow as he is an artist that has shown his adaptability and ability to broaden his horizon across different genres of music. This can be seen by the musical talent he possesses, not only can he play the piano, he is fluent on drums, electric and bass guitar and he also played the guitar for his song “Can’t Lose.”
His prominence is rising and the artist is not afraid to explain his love for music and speak to publications about his musical direction. He has sat down to conduct interviews with Notion magazine and appeared on the Issue 2 ‘Growth’ for Gaucho World.