Professor Green hasn’t had the best of times recently. This album was pushed back after an annus horribilis that saw him get hit by a car and postpone his tour for the second time in six months. But that turbulence has coincided with a period of maturing; he’s married now and recently penned a moving comment piece about his father’s suicide for this newspaper.
Professor Green has had a rough time of it lately, and he’s here to tell you all about it. Growing Up In Public, the Londoner known to his mother as Stephen Manderson’s third album, is so self-referential that it almost feels like an autobiography, with tales of his celebrity marriage, spats with fellow pop-stars, car accidents, run-ins with the law and so on. Over the last few years, Green has built up a loyal audience for his particular brand of grimey-pop and Growing Up In Public will no doubt go down well with them.
Having been banned from driving and robbed outside his home, Professor Green has endured an eventful time since 2011’s At Your Inconvenience. Such drama is in short supply on the rapper’s humdrum third album, though, the tone of which is set by Can’t Dance Without You, a garish hymn to clubbing, ecstasy and casual sex that samples the Shamen’s Ebeneezer Goode. Elsewhere, the title track addresses being mugged but, as is true of far too many of the songs, Professor Green’s whiny rap and the tired chart-house riff detract from the power of the narrative.