Posted by , 31 August 2011

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Professor Green — street sleek

Stephen Paul Manderson, more commonly known as Professor Green, has had a meteoric 27 years.

Born to teenage parents who separated shortly after his birth, he was raised on Hackney’s ‘Murder Mile’ by his grandmother. When his natural intelligence earnt him a scholarship to a top private school, his reaction was to reject it and drop out of school completely.

Things began picking up when his mates bullied him into rapping and unearthed a talent that surprised himself as much as them. Then, seeing a flyer for freestyle night LyricPad (think the battles in 8 Mile), he went and gave it a shot. And he won. So he went back the next week, and he won again. Every week he went back, and every week he won. He eventually became overall champion, and, to this day, is the only MC to win seven battles in a row on more than one occasion. Basically, he’s pretty much shit hot at this rapping lark.

The Streets’ Mike Skinner spotted this and signed Pro to his label The Beats. Things were picking up for the man whose nickname was borne out of his intelligence and passion for, as he puts it, “horticulture”. Then his dad committed suicide and The Beats went under.

Lesser men would have crumbled, but not Pro. Only a few months later, he entered the inaugural JumpOff MySpace battle rap tournament, won (like he ever does anything else), and netted himself £50,000. He used this money to produce his own EP, The Green EP, before going touring with good pal and chart-topper Lily Allen.

It hasn’t been all Gold-selling albums and happy endings, though; his trademark 'Lucky' tattoo is a macabre reference to the much-publicised incident which saw a broken glass bottle thrust into his neck on what could have become his last ever night out.

Lucky he may be, but, as many great and 'lucky' men have said, "the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get".

Why we love his street sleek style
Pro would never desert his tough roots - his mates would slaughter him if he tried, anyway. Nowadays, he manages to add subtle touches of class to his still street-savvy style. These versatile outfits would do him well on the mean streets or when meeting his girlfriend's mum.

Get the look
Professor Green favours brands such as Puma, Urban Outfitters, APC and ACNE. The key is mixing elements of street - be it a sports jacket or pair of hi-tops - with smarter garments like a checked shirt or quilted jacket.


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