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Professor Green ft. Lily Allen - 'Just Be Good To Green'

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:23 UK time, Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Professor Green and Lily Allen

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.

Five starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

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."


  • Comment number 1.

    YES YES YES! I actually love this song, it took me while, but after two or three listens, this song really stand well above 'I Need You Tonight', and something tells me it'll last longer in the charts because let's face it, the riff is less annoying.

    lus, there's a healthy dollop of Lily Allen to add a lightness to the new darker sound the Porfoessr is exploring with this song. And on top of that, the chorus is brilliantly structured - with plenty of conversation-esque lyrics with Lily and Green which add a certain comdeic value to the song, as well as making it highly listenable and well worth the five stars you've given it.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes , yes this interpretation of the song is good ,will be a hit , and will appeal to many , but Fraser please :

    "The S.O.S Band and their mimimalist reggae hit "Just Be Good To Me " from 1984 . "

    Fraser have you heard this song ?

    The original number 13 hit by The S.O.S Band of Just Be Good To Me in 1984 , was an electro/dance song .

    Which song are you listening to ?

  • Comment number 3.

    I like this song too. I think it's a good interpretation of a classic song, rather than I Need You Tonight which was more of a complete rip-off, and I didn't like it at all. Got to say also, Lily looks absolutely stunning in the video.

    Let's hope it knocks you-know-what off no.1 next week.

  • Comment number 4.

    Did I say reggae? Sheesh, I must've been lost in the whole genealogy thing and thinking about Lindy Layton. You're quite right.

  • Comment number 5.

    Ugh, glad you didn't say it's name kutox, the plague of screaming girls has followed it even onto OUR precious Blog! The one place on the internet that I can go and not meet anyone who like those droids. FRASER HOW COULD YOU!? You know us regulars cannot stand those n00bs.

    But yes, I'm hoping this can song de-throne that song too, it should go down well with more people because as you said, 'I Need You Tonight' was very blatent and got annoying very easily because of overplaying - this however, should grate even if it is overplayed... a sign of a truly good pop song right there...

  • Comment number 6.

    I can't help but give 5 stars to anything that includes my future wife (even if she doesn't know it yet, she WILL be) Lily Allen, but this is actually worthy.
    Not only is he a good rapper, but he's a heck of a lot better than the british trash that's around now (chipmuck, tinie tempah, tincy stryder)
    Heard this a few months ago, and I still can't get it out of my head.

    5 stars


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