Professor Green ft. Lily Allen - 'Just Be Good To Green'
The inhabitants of the British Isles are a ragbag collection of mongrel nations, thrown together by all sorts of rampaging forces. Early invasions - the Romans, the Vikings, the Normans - followed by centuries of trading and travelling around the globe have resulted in a genetic mix which is, if you look at everyone, as varied as humanity itself. It's part of what makes us US. We don't all agree on much (not even THIS. Genetics is a massively hot topic too), but if you know your history even slightly, you'll know that nothing comes from nothing. There was always someone who was here before you, and someone else was here before them, and so on.
Professor Green, although he has yet to reveal what his original doctorate is in, seems to understand this on a pretty instinctive level. He already acts like the scruffy street mutt (think Lady and the Tramp but with less spaghetti) in his songs. And the two songs we have had presented to us for consideration this year have also been the product of VERY mixed lineage indeed.
(No video. Sweary.)
This, put simply, is a reworking of a reworking of an old hit song, and its pop family tree is so dense with offshoots and branches that you could use it to replace a beloved privet hedge. Right down the bottom, where the roots are, is the trunk - the SOS Band and their minimalist reggae hit 'Just Be Good To Me', from 1984. Above that, just where the trunk splits into a million different branches, is Norman Cook, the man who came from the Housemartins, and went on to become Freakpower and Mighty Dub Katz and all sorts of other things, most notably Fatboy Slim.
His second hit band were Beats International, and their biggest hit was an early mash-up called 'Dub Be Good To Me', which welded the SOS Band to the bass-line of 'Guns Of Brixton' by the Clash. The Clash's lead singer was Joe Strummer, and it is commonly believed that his god-daughter is one Lily Allen. See what I mean about dense?
Now the Professor has reinstated the Just, lopped off the Me, added a Green, and reworked the Beats International backing with some buzzsaw synths and a box-fresh beat. Then he's added some cocky-funny verses about being such a massive player that he'll treat you, a woman, nicely for about a week..."and then I'm off". That's what the bad boys do, and don't you just love it?
Lily, on the other hand, brings the gravitas. She's there to grab the roguish Prof by the knackers and call him up on his nonsense. And because of her glassy, reserved, holding-back-the-fury poise, and that delicious voice of hers, he just HAS to pay attention and shape up. Which he sort of does, feebly, at the end.
It's all brilliant, from start to finish, and proves that while new influences can change the basic makeup of a thing in quite a dramatic way, it's not always for the worse.
FJ Girls says: "PG looks to be a sort of modern day softcore Eminem."
Forever Musick says: "The track will serve as the official second single of his upcoming album 'Alive Till I'm Dead'... Deep dude.. deep."
Rub Me Out says: "Green possesses none of the Rascal's qualities and is almost as instantly dislikeable as Piers Morgan."