In just over half a year, Brooklyn emcee Sidney Royel Selby III aka Desiigner, has gone from a nobody to a worldwide success. Riding the hype-wave of the chart-obliterating Panda, he’s managed to join Pusha T, Big Sean, Hudson Mohawke and more on Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music, and was even sampled in Pt.2 on The Life Of Pablo. He’s also been announced as one of XXL’s 2016 Freshman Class.
Now, Desiigner has finally showed the world that he has more than one song to offer. He’s come out swinging with his debut mixtape New English, aiming to squash the ‘one hit wonder’, although it doesn’t do much to squash the ‘he sounds like Future’ shade. A relatively dense mixtape, complete with interludes, auto-tuned bangers and heavy beats, the 14 track project does its very best to crush the haters.
New English opens with a string-filled Intro, before fast-paced trap tune Caliber, showing that Desiigner isn’t holding anything back. Spitting about how he’ll shoot to kill, this is certainly one aggressive opening. Make It Out is a little more stripped back, remarkably sans auto-tune off, showing off his rough, croaky tone. Shooters and Monstas & Villains feature two of the biggest, baddest beats on the tape. Unfortunately these are cut incredibly short, with Monstas & Villains limited to a meagre 37 seconds. Graaa?
Following another calm and soothing interlude, auto-tuned out Desiigner is back with Talk Regardless, an anti-hater anthem. No matter what happens, “mothafuckas gon’ talk regardless.”
Jet provides the long-rumoured first link-up between Desiigner and his label’s president Pusha T. Utilising classic rap bravado, the pair talk about how they have so much money they could literally buy a jet.The theme continues with Overnight, addressing Desiigner’s overnight success. Coming at a price, he explains how people from his hood might not have the same opportunities and won’t make it out.
Simply put, Zombie Walk is a trap anthem (but how many more trap anthems do we need?). The last feature on the album, it has King Savage going back-to-back with Desiigner as they glorify smoking weed, killing and trapping – you know, all the basic necessities for living a good life. As per the hook, the track gets its name from the kind of zonked out look you get when you’re trying to walk while on drugs. At this point we think you should read our feature article about the problems of glorifying heavy drug use in hip-hop.
The final track is Panda. As you know, it goes, “Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda.”
There’s a lot of heat crammed into just thirty-six minutes, but there’s not much else. Is he changing the world? No. Is he releasing solid trap bangers with huge beats and endearingly undecipherable lyrics? You bet. He might not be a superstar in the making, but he’s more than a one hit wonder, at least. And for now, that’s all he needed to do.
New English is currently a Tidal exclusive, you can listen to it here.