The fact Professor Green’s latest, appropriately-titled album Growing Up in Public reflects his life over the past couple of years is reason enough to listen.
He went from being a popular hip hop star with a pair of top three albums and a string of hit singles under his belt to a fully fledged celebrity – something he is understandably uncomfortable with – when he married reality star Millie Mackintosh.
Then, last November, things then took a nasty turn.
Believing his wife was being chased by a mugger who had already stolen his £40,000 Rolex watch, Pro Green gave pursuit and crashed the car he was driving.
When police showed up, they “didn’t believe his story about the robbery”. He later pleaded guilty to drink driving. He was also arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, though this was dropped.
The whole affair got a lot of media attention.
Pro Green, real name Stephen Manderson, addresses it all on the album and is glad to be able to tell his side of things.
He told News Shopper: “I wasn’t legally allowed to talk about it yet the police were putting out a side of it.
“If anyone paid attention to what happened in court, they were left embarrassed.
“The CPS were embarrassed by the behaviour of Lewisham police.”
He added: “It took up a lot of mental space. I was dealing with a lot of stress.
“When it got to the courts of justice, the only one wasting police time was them. Silly sods.”
Growing up in Public is a slick album with pop sensibilities and some well-crafted songs that clearly deal with personal issues.
As well as confronting the court case on the song Growing Up in Public, Pro Green deals with being cheated on by an ex in Little Secrets and the difficulties of living in the media spotlight in Name in Lights featuring Rizzle Kicks.
Pro Green said: “Some of the record began two years ago. It definitely reflects the journey between then and now.”
Dealing with personal issues in songs was cathartic, the 30-year-old said.
“It’s the one place I’m comfortable discussing things,” he said.
“I backed off interviews for a while because there was no music to talk about. Then it used to become the whole celebrity side of things, which I’ve kind of learnt to embrace a little bit.
“If I didn’t I would have gone crazy.”
The most poignant moment of the record is Lullaby, which deals with Pro Green’s own feelings of depression.
It is the first single from the album and features Tori Kelly, the latest protégé of Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun.
He said: “It was quite therapeutic. It helped me make sense of exactly how I felt, which was something I didn’t have the ability to do before I started writing music.”
Today, Pro Green – whose father took his own life - has an article in The Guardian encouraging men to speak up on depression.
The feedback to both the song and the article has been ‘incredible’, he said.
“What I’ve learnt is it’s important to talk about those things because there are a huge number of people who don’t feel comfortable talking about them.
“Hopefully seeing me talk about it so openly and publicly, it will help them to realise that they are not alone in their suffering and give them the courage to open their mouths and talk to someone.”
Professor Green’s album Growing Up in Public is out September 22. The single, Lullaby, is out September 15 and his tour comes to London at The Roundhouse on December 11. Go to professorgreen.co.uk