Yes lads, he’s back. The don, the only Professor that has a doctorate in the colour green. Professor Green returns to our ears with the album At Your Inconvenience, follow up to 2010’s Alive till I’m Dead. The truth is, whether you are a fan or not, it is difficult to resist being drawn in by that Hackney accent, that tattoo and now thatseemingly Joey Essex style hair do. The opening and title track of the album raises the question- what am I doing to myself? Obviously those of us who are not rappers in the public eye struggle to completely empathise with P.G. However, that slimy grind of a beat behind the spitting lyrics are pretty hard to ignore. Other tracks on the album like D.P.M.O are tailor made to get you moving and definitely getting a strange kind of London-style-white-boy skank on. It’s one of those tracks that allow you to believe that you are as hard as nails for three minutes, while screaming the lyrics “DON’T PISS ME OFF”. After getting you all hyped up, Emeli Sande brings you right back down to earth with the current single Read All About It.Pro Green, real name Stephen Manderson, here addresses the suicide of his dad back in 2008. It’s songs like this that make you un-tick the box labelled ‘another rapper that David Guetta will no doubt mutate in a few months’. With harsh stripped back lyrics such as “family is something that you never been to me” combined with Emeli’s vocals pushing the song into new heights, it has top-40 written all over it.
Other highlights are Remedy, which has a cracking drum and bass sound behind another guest vocalist- Ruth Anne. Near the end of this track it dips down into a dubstep-esque bump, which allows you to slide right into the next track How Many Moons. The strong subtext of this album seems to be drinking, going out, feeling lost and the horrors of addiction. Astronaut is the stand out track of the album: tackling the subject of heroin addiction. Stop. This is not another A-team. Yes it addresses the same problem of those poor few who just can’t numb pains without the aid of a needle, but this song is a remembrance service performed in four minutes. Professor Green has had first-hand experience of losing a close friend to the perils of addiction, therefore you know this is not fiction, and with every listen you empathise with the rawness of his pain. After this milestone in the centre of the record, he seems to feed off it and the tracks that follow: Never Be A Right time and Today I Cried. The latter lets you hear all those self-doubts we keep to ourselves until you need to just cry. Professor Green, like the rest of us, realises that you cannot just bury all your worries because ‘slowly but surely everything I buried is crept to the surface and I’m finally being made to deal with it’.
This album is not as dance related as his last offering, but instead the Prof seems to have started a love affair with strings, as they appear on just under half of the tracks on this album, including penultimate track Forever Falling. This album is a real emotional rollercoaster, and it’s hard to believe that it was completed within a year. You hear the Professor have a party, get drunk, realise he’s losing it, tackle his demons, remember the dead and admit defeat to his emotions. Then the last track plays. It doesn’t spoil the album, but it doesn’t close it the way it feels like it should. In a word, it’s a bit…annoying. However it does reference vajazzle’s which is always a good thing, but it leaves you feeling a bit like, is that it? Don’t let this put you off, it’s a strong record packed full of different vibes some emotional and some that’ll make you skank your way to the high heavens. Go on give Green a chance.