If you don’t know who Desiigner is I can almost guarantee you’ll still recognise his hit single Panda (it’s the one that goes, Panda, Panda, Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda). Since releasing this track Desiigner has rocketed to fame and even earned himself a contract with GOOD Music, which is home to the likes of Kanye West, Pusha T and Big Sean. After the monumental success of ‘Panda,’ many were ready to write off Desiigner as a one hit wonder without giving him the chance to release new material. With backing from GOOD Music and XXL having just been announced as one of the rappers on the 2016 XXL Freshman cover, the Brooklyn-born rapper has a lot to prove in the coming years. With his first mixtape release after the success of Panda I’m not sure how much he has proved.

“With the Hot 97 freestyle which would later be dubbed ‘Make it Out’, he showed that his faux-future style wasn’t all that he had up his sleeve.”

Desiigner can rap. He has insane flows, charisma and decent lyrical ability. He may not be able to bar with the better rappers of this generation, such as Logic, Kendrick, Earl Sweatshirt to name a few, but you can’t deny the boy’s talent. His main criticism is his similarity in sound to Future. However, with the Hot 97 freestyle which would later be dubbed ‘Make it Out’, he showed that his faux-future style wasn’t all that he had up his sleeve. However, too many times on this project Desiigner fails to get away from that Future sound that he is so heavily criticised for.

The first thing that stood out to me from this project was the placement of the single ‘Panda’ in the tracklist, which I admired. In choosing it to be the 14th and last track in the album, it allowed Desiigner to showcase his new material before showing the fans what is familiar. Another thing that stood out was the ommission of the Timmy Turner track which is buzzing around the internet after Desiigner previewed it in his XXL Freshman Freestyle. This, I believe, is another intelligent move as I think that this (if not ‘Make it Out’) could be Desiigner’s next big single.

In terms of the actual project, it is quite forgettable. Bearing in mind it is only a mixtape and not a studio album, it still lacks certified bangers that make mixtapes standout. In fact, rather than a mixtape this sounds like an incohesive scattered list of ideas for songs that Desiigner couldn’t quite finish. Another criticism is that Desiigner has managed to sound even more like Future on some of these songs, especially ‘Caliber’ and ‘Overnight’. Also, Desiigner’s hook writing ability may have peaked at ‘Panda’ as all of the choruses on this project seem to consist of Desiigner repeating the same word over and over again (usually the name of the song).

There are some entertaining songs on this mixtape, namely ‘Make It Out’ and ‘Shooters’. That being said, it would have been nice to hear ‘Shooters’ go on for longer with better mixing as the 808s sound way too muddy.

All in all this mixtape doesn’t provide much to review. However, I still maintain optimism for Desiigner as I am a huge fan of ‘Panda’ and ‘Make it Out.’ I await the new single ‘Timmy Turner’ with open arms and anticipation.

Joshua Ogunmokun

Josh is currently listening to ‘Gentleman’ by AdeJosh.

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