Figuring Out Desiigner & His Debut Tape ‘New English’

We’ve been trying to figure Desiigner out for a while now. No gassing, “Panda” is one of the hottest songs hip-hop has seen this year. We all admit, yes it kind of does sound like Future but that’s because we’re so used to hearing his sound. The beat is crack and the way he flows on “Panda” is sensational, no comparisons intended. The skeptical thing with Desiigner is that he has been receiving all of this fame and popularity with that one song. Ok, we know how the industry goes… people come drop a track and go faster than a breath but what kept holding Desiigner up was the cosigns he received. The legend Kanye West himself put “Panda” on his album, TLOP, and then continued to praise this young protégé they signed to G.O.O.D Music. Now Kanye is one of the best to do it so we already respected his eye for talent and diving even deeper than that, in its prime no label on the planet could match the aesthetic of G.O.O.D Music. So how do you prove that an 18 year old from Brooklyn could deliver the same heat proceeding the likes of a Big Sean, a Mos Def, or a Kid Cudi.

After having the countries #1 hit and making the XXL Freshman Class of 2016 with one song, we finally got some insight as to who and what Desiigner really was an artist. On June 26th he released his first official mixtape via Tidal called New English and to say the least, this is the moment we have been waiting for. Let me start with this, his XXL Freshman Freestyle was actually hot. People were tripping off of the fact that he said “Timmy Timmy Turner” while missing the fact that musically he was taking his delivery farther than any other rapper on that cover. For the first time he gave us an open door into his artistry so I think as fans, we were actually excited to hear a whole tape of what he could possibly do. There are a lot of mixed feelings on ‘New English’.

One thing that was clarified was the fact that Future and Desiigner are two completely different artists. The difference between the two is that Desiigner goes way harder than Future, literally. Future can give us two sides; he can hop on a track with the energy level of “No Compadre” or he can calm it down on something like “Kno the Meaning”. Desiigner goes “No Compadre” hard on every song. We could compare flows but then we must note demographic. Future has a flow that we expect to hear all over Atlanta. Desiigner might have a similar flow but simply put no one raps like that in NYC. It’s kind of like people comparing Young Thug to Wayne or Lil Yacthy to ILoveMakonnen when they first came out; it may take a little time for us to truly grasp their individuality as artists.

Now let me bring it to the music a little deeper. His tracks actually go hard; like these are the kind of tracks you could play on your way to a party as you’re getting geeked up. Arguably so, I’m not sure if you could sit down and listen calmly to these same songs in your headphones but with this new movement of hip-hop, harder songs actually bring ease and peace to people. The sad thing is that “Panda” was actually the hottest song on the album but it pretty much couldn’t get any hotter than that. He’s got some legit fire on the tape such as “Da Day”, “Overnight”, and “Zombie Walk”. But then there are certain songs that just don’t do it such as “Caliber” or “Talk Regardless”. Not because it isn’t good music but more so because he failed to give us something we couldn’t get from any other artist.

Back to Kanye. As hip-hop heads most of us have been trying to figure out why in the world Kanye and Pusha T signed Desiigner but he definitely fits that G.O.O.D Music aesthetic. You know, that dark but not gloomy persona within the music. We could also see this in his XXL Freestyle but most of the songs on ‘New English’ took a certain direction in the harder side of records rather than the more dreamy side. He didn’t quite give us enough and I feel that is why the backlash has been so hard on him. As a skeptical music journalist, what I could pull from this tape was that 1. Desiigner is not Future, 2. He is definitely G.O.O.D Music, and 3. This is just the beginning, there is no way that this is all he’s got. In conclusion, ‘New English’ was mediocre but important in the sense that now it’s a fact that we haven’t figured Desiigner out just yet. It’s too early to call this one so as listeners, we’ll just have to wait and see…

New English is available now via Tidal on the link below; listen and see what you think.


By K. High

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