Single Review: Professor Green ft. Lily Allen – ‘Just Be Good To Green’

When you’re a new artist trying to stamp your mark on both the chart and the general public, it’s always good to let the public know who you really are. To do this you need to convey your personality over in your songs, very quickly, or the public won’t take to you and your record label may drop you. After you have made clear your personality traits via your music and lyrics, you can choose to then alter this image or visage the public have of you after a few albums, á la Britney, Rihanna, and now Miley.

Now, of course, this could be a very bad decision; show too much of you’re personality and the media will hound you forever and a day, do a Leona and the public will get bored of you. But what is imperative is that you don’t show the bad side to you’re personality. So the combination of how much personality you have, how you convey it in your songs, how much you show, and which parts you show are all contributory in your success. Professor Green has a personality. But how well has he conveyed it in his first two offerings? And most importantly, has he conveyed the right parts of his personality?

Well, on ‘I Need You Tonight’, (featuring the surprisingly good when Live Ed Drewett) showed us he isn’t someone’s Mr. Perfect, and that he is an uninteresting, “stereotypical maaaaan”. He also showed us his ‘helium voice’ and that he has no reservations about sampling other great songs, to build off their success (‘I Need You Tonight’ samples INXS’s 1987 classic ‘Need You Tonight’).

And now, let’s see what his second single ‘Just Be Good To Green’ tells us about the fresh-faced rapper, it certainly harbours a lot more personality traits. Before we even hear the song we can see the guy must have at least some charm, despite what ‘I Need You Tonight’ said about him: he’s managed to coax the ‘retired’ Lily Allen to feature on the song. Nifty, he must have some persuasion skills. As well as this, we can see he may be a bit of a narcissist? ‘Just Be Good To Green‘ being an obvious reference to himself.

Upon listening, we hear that he can’t seem to help himself sampling yet another classic song from the 80’s, this time the S.O.S. Band’s ‘Just Be Good To Me’, which was then sampled by Beats International for their hit ‘‘Dub Be Good To Me’. It provides a much darker sound than the one we heard on ‘I Need You Tonight’, which I think is a good move, it works in perfect contrast to Lily’s vocal, as well as his rapping.

The lyrics also show a different side to him – “Some men are good to girls, not me/I’m a bad boy: something every good girl needs”, Okay, this one is passable, but the repeated chorus which beholds the golden moment of infidelity lies in wait as Lily sings – “Just be good to me” and the green professor returns with “I’ll try, I’ll try”. This shows he’s unfaithful, which is probably not the best thing to convey through song work is it? But hey, at least it’s better than sex texts. Take note Ashley…

As for Lily, well she provides the really catchy chorus. A call and response style structure, with an electric harmonica to fill the vocal gaps. Almost as if Lily is reminding Professor Green about how sleeping around will get you no-where, ending it all with the line – “I don’t care what you do to them/Just be good to me”. Well, we can expect slight carelessness from Lily can’t we? Speaking of Lily, she’s looking great in the video. Even in her shoes – which incidentally are green – that appear too big don’t fault the flair she adds to the song.

So it still remains a mystery who Professor Green really is; one minute he’s a helpless-in-love, sample-jacker, and the other he’s a “bad boy” who’s unfaithful, and still a sample-jacker. But what is a plus point for both songs, is that you cannot escape how undeniably catchy they are.

Besides, you’d have to be as pretentious as Piers Morgan’s testicles to care about an artist’s personality. 


Rating: 4.0 STARS

Download: July 12, 2010

Featured Album: ‘Alive Till I’m Dead’

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