Very little is known about Sidney Royel Selby III, aka G.O.O.D. Music‘s newest signee, Desiigner. After being blessed by Kanye West with a feature on his recent LP, The Life of Pablo, the 19-year-old Brooklyn native was thrown into the rap scene with tremendous force. His debut single ‘Panda’, which was featured on Kanye’s ‘Father Stretch My Hands Pt 2’, went number 1 and stayed at the top for a number of weeks, making the record more successful than anyone could have ever imagined. Perhaps the only thing bad that came out of ‘Panda’ is Desiigner’s striking similarities in sound to Atlanta rapper, Future. And ever since, you can’t hear Desiigner’s names without accusations of him biting from Future. After catapulting to the top with just one single, many were waiting to see if he would be able to compose a complete project that would match his new found popularity. New English is Desiigner’s attempt at such an LP.
Desiigner starts off New English with a classical string intro, which is not something that you would expect from a new drill artist. The project’s Intro quickly transitions into a hard hitting song titled ‘Caliber’. This is the type of track that you hope Desiigner would make. It’s fast, lots of base, and inaudible, which is a common theme throughout the LP. Just by listening to this first track, one can tell that this album is going to be one that you play when you want to jump around and throw your body in every direction. Desiigner repeats the word “caliber” 41 times in this one song alone, so it’s purpose on the project is clearly not for its substance. If you are looking for music with intricate and witty lyrics like J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar, you are in the wrong place. If you are looking for music to make sure that you keep the aux cord for the rest of the car ride while you are with your friends, then you might want to stick around.
The next song, titled ‘Make It Out’, is especially confusing from the start. The transition between ‘Caliber’ and this record is very abrupt and sudden. The former track stops in the middle of a verse and then you are thrown into the latter. In fact, the majority of his songs were between 24 seconds and 2 minutes. The record is a confusing one, as it sounds like there are 3 different artists on this one track alone, however it’s all Desiigner. One verse sounds like G Herbo and then on another it sounds like DMX. Desiigner is a shapeshifter.
The song ‘Shooters’ consists of Desiigner saying “finna pull up with the shooters” about 24 times and the most aggressive tongue rolls you have ever heard in your life. One of the definite ways to tell if you are listening to a Desiigner song is to listen for his already classic ad-lib grunts or tongue rolls. They have become his signature sound. The next song ‘Monstas & Villains’ is only 37 seconds long and consists of one hook. Perhaps he wants to make his songs short enough so that people actually listen to the entire track. He then fills up time with an interlude in New English, three total throughout the project. When your mixtape has three instrumentals and it’s still incredibly short, you know you’re in trouble. ‘Talk Regardless’ is yet again another repetitive track. As many could expect, this mixtape lacks content and is not up to par lyrically. But with drill and trap music, perhaps that’s what you sign up for.
‘Da Day’ is the longest song on the album and features Milly.CTD. He has some good lyrics and it is refreshing to understand what he is saying. When Desiigner comes on you are sucked back into jumping around. This is not an album that you can listen to by yourself. You are only putting yourself in danger of breaking everything around you. Following up is the ‘Jet’, which features G.O.O.D. Music president, rapper Pusha T. The track speaks on all of the things worthy of spending money on; like cars, chains, women and more.
The final song on the mixtape is of course the song that made this Brooklyn kid the star he is today. The song that gets him invited to Kanye West premieres, add his name to the XXL Freshman Class, and the one that will be the driving force behind his millions of dollars in the near future. ‘Panda’ is one that we can all recognize and recite, well at least the bridge which consists of “Hey Panda, Panda,Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda.” I guess that’s all it takes to make it in the rap world in 2016. The public was livid when the XXL Freshman Class was released. With all these young artists that rap repetitive lyrics that no one can relate too it’s only a matter of time before it’s too late for hip hop. The silver lining is that there is definitely an audience for New English, and while Desiigner may not be the most conscious rapper today, he doesn’t have to be. He is still a kid in many ways who has a number of projects ahead of him to find his own sound and voice.