Cee Major has gained a fantastic reputation in the world of battle rap, representing for Don’t Flop against some of the most formidable opponents on the circuit, recently putting in a slick, intelligent and impressive performance against Chilla Jones at the league’s 6th Birthday event. His first EP, entitled ‘Humble Beginnings’ was a solid introduction on the musical side of things, and ‘The Format’ is his second release, and it continues Cee’s formula of honest and clever writing over well suited and excellently selected instrumentals, all courtesy of Phocus Beats on this outing.
‘The Format’ begins with ‘I’m Home’, a resounding first track which features Cee dropping personal and intelligent lyrics. The soulful sample works well as Major announces his arrival with a forceful impact, spitting slick, intricate and insightful bars such as ‘Word of advice; don’t mistake my immaturity for wisdom/Second thoughts, fuck advice you seen how poorly that I’m living?’, dropping knowledge about his musical come up thus far. The punchy production of the EP’s title track backs Cee as he spits with clarity, demonstrating strong multi-syllabics and confidence. You know that old saying that battle rappers can’t make music? Well scratch that, as you simply cannot deny Cee Major’s hip hop sensibilities and sheer skill on the mic.
The jovial instrumental and punchy drums of ‘Bandcamp’ back Cee as he drops witty punchlines with a precise flow. Something that is clear as daylight on ‘The Format’ is the East London MC’s ability to craft songs to a high standard. The hooks are catchy, relevant and professionally delivered, and the verses are intricate, relevant and impeccably structured. ‘O.M.W.F.’ finds Cee rapping about the effort he’s put into the game thus far, and about the sly movements of lesser spitters. The second verse is a standout of the whole EP for me, with Cee switching up the flow, and delivering his bars with real force. The EP finishes with ‘Fools In Love’, and this is a more commercial cut, showing Cee’s diverse range of skills, demonstrating his storytelling skills as well as a touching honesty.
‘The Format’ is a very strong offering from Cee Major. The East London MC is a technical spitter for sure, but further than that he possesses the ability to create well structured songs; he’s not just churning out a couple of 16’s on this project, it definitely goes much further than that. 2015 is sure to be a big year for him, and this EP is available for a free download, so what are you waiting for?
By Sam Bennett