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by

Professor Green



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Stephen Manderson, who raps under the name of Professor Green, was raised by his Grandmother Patricia from the age of one. He had a turbulent relationship with his father, who was rarely around during Manderson's childhood and committed suicide in 2008. In this song, Manderson responds to accusations made by his stepmother that his debut album, Alive Till I'm Dead was "cashing-in" on his death. He told The Guardian: "A lot of people face that craving for acceptance and wanting to feel appreciated. How am I not allowed to talk about how that affected me? It was a massive part of my life."
The song was released as the first official single from Manderson's second album At Your Inconvenience. It was debuted on September 5, 2011 by BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter MistaJam and released on October 23, 2011.
The single features guest vocals from the Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, who is best known for her contribution to Chipmunk's single "Diamond Rings" and her own hit recording,"Heaven."
Manderson did not find filming the video easy. He told The Guardian: "In the video there's one scene in particular where the dad holds his son's hand and then lets go. That moment for me is uncomfortable."
Manderson admitted to MTV UK that he didn't pen the song to be a hit single: "It's weird. I didn't make the song with hope of it charting or sitting comfortably in that realm. It just sparked something in me," he said. "I guess with the subject matter it's not really a chart friendly track. It's not what people would normally talk about on a pop song. But ultimately it kind of does fit. It's got quite a lot of commercial appeal despite the subject matter."

He continued: "The song is entirely autobiographical. It's all about situations that I've been through and continue to go through. The meaning for me, is just being entirely upfront and honest.

You know, knowing what's out there and just saying to people 'It's there, here I am'. I say in the song: 'I won't censor myself for anyone. All that is good, all that is bad, all it is me' and by that I just mean to say 'take me as I am; I'm imperfect'. I wouldn't hold to be anything else."
Manderson told Q magazine that despite the emotional nature of the song, it was easy for him to write. He explained: "Writing for me is therapeutic. Performing it is not so easy, nor was shooting the video. But I don't think you should be entirely comfortable with what you're doing all the time. As personal as it is, the connection it's had with people is amazing. A lot of people relate to that feeling of abandonment, whether it's a dad or a mum that's left. There's been lots of people on Twitter saying it made them reach out to their father who they hadn't spoken to for years. I never expected to write a song that changed someone's life."
Emeli Sandé recorded her own Professor Green-less version, which was included on her debut album, Our Version of Events as its closing track.
Professor Green
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