For a brief period, the hip-hop world was taken by storm by an infectious, trap banger that even managed to reach number one on the Billboard charts. That song was “Panda” by G.O.O.D Music‘s newest signee, Desiigner. Desiigner’s use of triple, even quadruple time flow was impressive to many, even myself. However, Desiigner’s rise to fame hasn’t come without its critiques. Other than the fact that it’s near impossible to understand what he’s saying, Desiigner has also been accused of biting the flows of rappers who already inhabit the same sub-genre of hip-hop he has occupied. One rapper in particular being Future. The comparison certainly holds water, considering the two share very similar flows, tones of voice, and subject matter. However, I was optimistic that under the guidance of G.O.O.D. Music founder, Kanye West, and President of the label, Pusha T, Desiigner would overcome the obvious comparisons and develop his style into something unique. So obviously when I heard about the release of New English, I was immediately intrigued. However what I hoped would be a collection of solid trap bangers, turned out to be an abrasive, clunky rush job that left me angry and confused. Pretty much every area that Desiigner needed to improve upon got significantly worse on New English.
The mimicry of Future has gotten to a point where its actually impressive how well he managed to copy his style. Songs like “Caliber” and “Overnight” are embarrassingly similar to the Atlanta crooner’s style. If you were to play some of these songs to a fan who hadn’t heard the mixtape, and then quizzed them on whether it was Future or Desiigner, I guarantee you the scores would not be good. If there’s anything that annoys me more than wack lyrics and corny hooks, its a rapper who’s completely unoriginal and bites other rappers’ styles. This was clearly the case on this project. And to add insult to injury, he not only managed to bite Future, but also managed to make terrible music in the process. There are already very split opinions on Future’s music, but what Desiigner manages to cook up is significantly worse.
Desiigner’s lyrics are simple (and unintelligible). They are made up simply of noises and ad-libs (ex. BBBLLAAAT). Don’t get me wrong. I like ad-libs. Nothing gets me more hyped than a Jadakiss cackle, or even a Gucci Mane “BURRRR!” But these kind of ad-libs are usually used once or a few times throughout the song, not every damn second of every damn minute in a two minute and thirty second track. Three tracks in, and I had already had it with Desiigner’s obnoxious noises constantly interrupting what was already really terrible music. The song “Make It Out” is the epitome of everything wrong with Desiigner’s tone of voice and use of ad-libs. Believe it or not, this is one track on the mixtape that, I can honestly say, sounded nothing like Future. Instead of the typical blatant Future mimicry, Desiigner chooses to use an absolutely gut-wrenching, cringe-worthy form of screaming to get his lyrics across. Of course this train-wreck of a song wouldn’t be complete without some “GAT GAT GATs” or “BLLLLLLLLLAATs” scattered randomly throughout track. It’s honestly one of the most abrasive, cringe-worthy tracks I’ve heard in the past few years.
Another aspect of this project that was astonishingly bad was the complete lack of organization and song structure. As I said in the beginning, this album (or mixtape, or whatever this is) was a rush job. Some songs are so short they honestly just feel like snippets. And then these snippets will randomly cut off and go into one of the many interludes that for some unknown reason are jazz/classical music. I’m serious this happens several times. There’s literally a 37 second song (“Monstas & Villains”) that just ends and cuts into an interlude. And as far as song structure goes, you won’t find anything different from the way “Panda” was constructed: a hook that’s repeated many times throughout the song (ex. “I’M FINNA PULL UP WITH THE SHOOTAS”), followed by loose interpretation of that hook that is somehow supposed to be considered a verse. Why G.O.O.D. Music wouldn’t just take their time to release something a little more organized than this is beyond me.
I can honestly say that the only aspect I thought was somewhat decent about this project was the production. Some of the beats had potential, but were ultimately ruined by Desiigner’s presence. Even a decent Pusha T verse on the song “Jet”, couldn’t save the track from being mediocre. There’s honestly not much more to say about this mixtape. I would normally suggest readers to go out and listen the albums I review, even the ones I’m not too big on. However, in this case, I suggest you look the other way, even Future fans. You’re better off listening to spoons in a blender.