Professor Green axes collaboration with James Arthur over homophobic lyrics row

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Rapper Professor Green has cancelled a planned collaboration with James Arthur, joking that the star “imploded” following rows over homophobic lyrics.

X Factor winner James Arthur attracted criticism last year for referring to another singer as a ‘f***ing queer’ during a rap battle, and this year for a song containing the lyrics: “I’m crying over stupid s*** / you’re such a f***ing homophobe”

He was quietly dropped by record label SyCo after the controversy.

Speaking to Digital Spy about his new album, Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson, said: “James Arthur was on that record, but then he just kind of imploded, didn’t he?

“It’s a shame, when I met him he was a cool guy but he just upset so many people.

“The label was just like, ‘It’s not happening’, and I can’t fight the people who I need to support me.

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“When I met him, I thought he was a nice guy, so hopefully he can just bring some of that back and get people to focus on the music and maybe he can too, rather than getting concealed by all the bulls**t.”

Arthur said last month that he wants to make a “long term commitment” to leading gay rights charity Stonewall after losing his record deal, and also announced plans to change his stage name to distance himself from the controversy.