Just like our forefathers before us, I believe that Future discovered America. We once believed the earth was flat until the fabled creator of “Codeine Crazy” showed us otherwise. So, what do we do when a clone comes along? What do we do with “Panda”?
I was confused when I first heard Desiigner’s song “Panda,” just like you. Not knowing whether this was a bargain bin Future Hendrix or if Future ran out of the codeine that helps him avoid the common cold, I automatically marked this song off as coming from an untalented artist walking in Future’s image, such as we do Christ.
Shortly after, I started to see numerous tweets. Tweets of remixes. Tweets of “Panda” remixes to be exact. What in the world is happening? Are people really starting to appreciate this raspy voiced clone who makes the gun noises that I refuse to attempt to spell? The one who screeches “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” like the Almighty Future does in many of his bible verses? I had to do some more listening and investigating.
Here’s what I found first: Even Future didn’t know if this was him or someone else.
Immediately after, I went to Desiigner’s Soundcloud page where I played “Panda” on repeat. As the song played, I used Google to find out some more facts. Turns out Desiigner was just signed to Kanye West, is only 18 years old, and from Brooklyn? Wait, Brooklyn? And sounds like this? Nah, fam. I quickly maneuvered to Rap Genius where I looked up the lyrics to “Panda” to read what this kid was talking about.
After just a few bars into reading the lyrics and really listening to “Panda,” to my surprise, he’s not slacking. “I got broads in Atlanta, twisting dope, lean, and the Fanta. Credit cards and the scammers, hitting off licks in the bando. Black X6, Phantom, white X6 looks like a panda. Going out like I’m Montana, hundred killers, hundred hammers.” It’s definitely catchy, and more lyrical than anything Future has released in some time, if we’re being honest.
Truth be told, the more I listen to “Panda,” the more interviews I watch, and the more I hear of his other songs, which I’m not a fan of, I come to the realization that maybe he doesn’t totally sound like a Future imitator…does he? Sure, he’s definitely inspired by him. The energetic ad-libs, the deep, raspy voice with slurred words, mentions of lean, focus on Atlanta, and the overall vibe definitely remind us of Future. With his incredible track record, it should come as no surprise that Future has inspired a number of artists.
However, once I got more into “Panda,” I hear a lot more. The lyrics, formatting, and song overall are a lot more unique to Desiigner than expected. Yes, he does make that “YEAH!” sound like him, but vocally, he really doesn’t sound like him at all. He just has an awkwardly weird, deep voice and enjoys the thick texture of codeine as he recites his rhymes.
The layout of “Panda” still confuses me; hook, hook, verse, hook, hook, and another hook. But it makes sense. He knows why we’re here, and it’s not for his verse, it’s for that ridiculously catchy hook. This is the exact reason why I can’t get into my vehicle without playing “Panda” first on shuffled playlist. There’s nothing better than a car that reeks of Yankee Candle Midsummer Night while Desiigner reminds you of the broads he has in Atlanta.
A few short weeks after signing to GOOD Music, Desiigner performed a new song at SXSW. This song made eyebrows raise like The Rock’s as they listened to the chorus; “Pluto! Pluto! Pluto! Pluto!”
When asked about comparisons to Future, Desiigner has simply responded in awe and has been grateful for the comparisons. Desiigner is a nineteen year old kid with a hit inspired by one of his heroes.
Where do we draw the line?
As a Future fan, I have to be honest about the fact that “Panda” has reached levels Future has never achieved without the help of Drake. The Kanye West boost helped, but let’s think about the fact that “Panda” is more successful than any of the songs from The Life of Pablo, the album that Desiigner was featured on.
A ton of us saw, and possibly laughed at footage of Desiigner throwing up on stage while performing and dabbing through the pain. No, projectile vomiting didn’t stop him. He actually started performing even better. It was like he had to rid his body of any hate he endured on Twitter. You know what type of super villain you have to be to infect the entire surface of a nightclub and keep living life as if this is normal? Major.
“Gorilla, they come and kill you with bananas. Four fillas, they finna pull up in the Phantom. Know niggas, they come and kill you on the camera.” Now I have not one clue what a “filla” is, but if Desiigner knows four of them and they can pull up in a Phantom, which is probably black and white like a Panda, I politely suggest that you stop hating on the nineteen year old kid from Bed-Stuy.
Carmelo “Mellzy” Sanchez is born again, and has dedicated his life to raising the bar one wave at a time. Stay jiggy. Ask him about his younger creative self, and you might hear some stories you’ll never forget.