Professor Green: ‘My dinner posts get more hits than my music ones’

The rapper, 35, on strong women, knife crime and his rotisserie oven

I thought success would bring me happiness – fuck me, was I wrong. Attaching your happiness to your goals is like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. You’re happy for a second, then you pin your happiness on something or, worse, someone else.

I didn’t touch drugs from the age of 24, when my dad took his life, until the age of 29. I didn’t want to do anything that altered what I was trying to process. I’m sure a psychotherapist would say that was the best thing I could have done. It enabled me to think a lot about my dad’s actions, and my own behaviours.

We’ve got a really bad attitude towards work in the UK. We think that being present equals productivity. It doesn’t. People who work fewer hours work better and are happier. I go into huge corporations to talk about this. Presenteeism causes mental health problems for their own employees, which they then have to supply the support for.

I’ve recently got into the habit of sleeping with the curtains open. It’s easy to get anxious around sleep and end up relying on sleeping pills to avoid insomnia. I started turning my phone off at 9pm, the lights off at 10pm, getting out of bed as soon as the sun wakes me up to take the dogs out. If you get up at 5am, by 8am you’re the smuggest bastard on earth.

It’s been over 10 years since I got stabbed. Piers Morgan tried to turn a promotional interview on Good Morning Britain into a debate on knife crime. He said: “So, you were a victim of knife crime…” and I went, “I got stabbed, but I’m not a victim. But if you want to talk knife crime?” I don’t think he expected me to be so prepared off the cuff.

I had to separate my Instagram accounts, because pictures of my roast dinners were getting more attention than posts saying, “Here’s my new single.” I do a bloody good slow-cooked shoulder of lamb and I have a rotisserie in my oven, perfect for a roll of beef.

There will always be problems between masculinity, femininity and gender fluidity, because we are biologically and inherently different. But if someone says: “Why are you being a girl?” I’ll say, “Hang on a minute. In my family the women are stronger than the men. They didn’t do a runner…”

“You seem different,” someone said. “What’s changed?” I’ve shifted perspective. I no longer focus on the stuff that could stress me out. I never used to like people who were enthusiastic or optimistic. Now I’m 35 and I’ve got a mortgage, I’m quite enthusiastic and optimistic. I’m well happy. I used to be scared to say that, because I was worried about what was around the corner.

Listen to Professor Green’s episode of the Mind Tingles podcast now by searching for Fuze Tea or Mind Tingles on podcast apps


Rich Pelley

The GuardianTramp

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