Professor Green – Growing Up in Public
This is an apt title for the album as the last few years have seen significant milestones in this rapper’s life, including his marriage to Millie Mackintosh and his arrest for drunk driving. The album deals frequently with press response to his actions and he faces them head on, making him all the more relatable.
The style of this album is certainly more grown up, displaying a variety of musical influences. Professor Green’s trademark voice and flow are still evident, but soften at times. His confident, clever word play is another sign of maturity, as well as his subject matter – but that is not to say that he has lost his playful side.
Dead Man’s Shoes is an odd sort of love song to his wife, and his self-deprecating humour is evident as he embraces the attacks that have been levelled against him for the lifestyle of his “posh” in-laws. The soulful rock style of the song takes you on the whirlwind of his life and shows that he is taking it all in his stride.
Lullaby, the current single, is a dedication to his grandmother and delves further into his struggles with depression; he has previously written on the same topic, when speaking about his father’s suicide. Songs like this make you feel that you are delving into his journal and seeing a piece of him laid bare.
Green has always been big on collaborations and his songs often adapt to the style of those he is working with. This can be seen in the electric, fast-paced Name in Lights with Rizzle Kicks, where you feel like you are experiencing a night out with the lads, to the soulful Not Your Man, showcasing Thabo’s heavy yet delicate vocal talent, which contrasts smoothly with Green’s fast flows.
The album ends with the eponymous song Growing Up in Public, which begins with a playground-style chant and is a fitting close as a sort of two-fingered salute to anyone who judges him – the press in particular and how they have reported on his life without understanding the details.
In conclusion, comparisons to artists like Eminem and Mike Skinner are not unfounded but not because they are also white rappers, rather it is in their shared ability to immerse you in their lyrical catharsis and depict raw heartfelt emotion through brilliant wordplay.
Growing Up in Public was released on 22nd September 2014, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Lullaby here: