Desiigner: is the hyped rapper the genre’s new hope or a shameless hacker?

Hes signed to Kanyes label, divided sentiment at the BET awards and been accused of rending off Future but is there more to him than gratifies the eye?

Last year, Brooklyn rapper Desiigner crashed into the spotlight with Panda, a catchy trap track that likens a white BMW X6 to the endangered mammal. Within months of the track surfacing, the 19 -year-old rapper was signed to GOOD Music by the labels newly appointed president, Pusha T, and the signing was announced soon after by label boss Kanye West at his Yeezy Season 3 event. Wests album cut Pt 2 featured a rather prominent sample of Panda, which is now being criticized as a blatant bite of Atlanta rapper Future, who produced two number 1 albums last year: Dirty Sprite 2 and What A Time To Be Alive with Drake. The comparison isnt without its flaws, but it has far more merit than Action Bronsons resemblance to Ghostface Killah or when some rap fans believed Your Old Droog to secretly be Nas. You dont have to listen too hard to hear Panda as Future cosplay.

Panda is clearly influenced by Futures highly influential running, a stretch among the most prolific in rap history. It attempts to synthesize the most basic elements of Future hits into a serviceable rapper-suit: the auto-tune coated croakings, the hammering nature of some of his most fearsome cadences( Same Damn Time, and Sh! t, for example ), and his chant-like recitations( Racks and Jumpman ). Even the lyrics to Panda read like a generator spewing out garbled content from Future sungs( I got broads in Atlanta/ Twistin dope, lean, and the Fanta isnt much of a stretch from Im rolling strong weed inside the Phantom/ Im simply a street nigga from Atlanta/ We set the codeine inside a Fanta from Futures Jordan Diddy ). The anthem and Desiigner have received the ire of the #FutureHive and created eyebrows from even casual observers. He isnt the first rapper( or musician) to mold himself in the likeness of a popular star, but he very well might be the laziest.

In the weeks that followed the Future revelation, Panda climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, get a folksy pop cover, and eventually going platinum in several countries. Its been a bigger reached than any anthem of Futures. But whats been particularly astounding about this run is watching a anthem this boring become so trendy, and watching Desiigner doubled down by releasing a full mixtape of Panda variations.

Desiigners story is an interesting one. The rapper turned a beat he purchased online for $200 originally labeled in its YouTube description a Meek Mill-Ace Hood Type Beat into a cosign from the worlds most popular rap star. If he isnt playing Future, then hes playing someone else. As MTV News critic Meaghan Garvey points out, his sound is heavily indebted to Chicagos drill scene, mimicking tumbling cadences from rappers like G Herbo( FKA Lil Herb) and Lil Bibby. Its a bit like watching one of those Michael Jordan-Kobe Bryant mirror-image highlight reels( only instead of Kobe, its Nick Young ). Hes committed to the role.

The few samples of his early music remaining on the web are vignettes of other rap superstars: Desiigner fashioning himself shadow marionettes in the likenesses of Kid Cudi, Travis Scott or Kevin Gates. His recently released debut mixtape, New English( a fitting title for a rapper who has largely produced indecipherable verses ), scans as charade that turns on the sonic prospers of Chief Keef( Da Day ), Waka Flocka Flame( Monstas& Villains) and, of course, Future( Roll Wit Me, Caliber ).

Desiigner
Desiigner Whats been most astonishing about this run is watching a anthem this boring become so trendy. Photo: PR Image

If Desiigner isnt blatantly rending off the styles of others, then at the very least hes a master troll. He continues to dance around the Future comparison in interviews, never outright denying the accusation. And when skeptics first starting saying Panda was a knock off of the Atlanta rapper, Desiigner responded by taunting a follow-up anthem called Pluto, the name of Futures debut album. The trolling has continued as recently as the coming week, when he performed Futures part in DJ Khaleds new single I Got The Keys. Its the closest hell get to being Future.

The best song of Desiigners career thus far isnt even a anthem; its an a cappella freestyle for his XXL Freshman class selection, a rap hymnal called Timmy Turner that has already inspired countless remixes. The tune commands more impression in 46 seconds than New English does in 36 minutes. Or, at the least, it did, until legendary producer Mike Dean teased the official version, which turns what was an impassioned performance into simply another one of his soulless imitations. Desiigner is most interesting playing himself, but hes most comfortable playing someone else.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Sean Paul: ‘Drake and Bieber do dancehall but don’t credit where it came from’

A decade after he defined the genre in the 2000 s, the Jamaican artist is having another moment. He explains how he plans to take dancehall back to its roots

I will have some of dat green juice. Sean Paul has barely stepped over the threshold of Westlake Recording Studios, located in the sprawl of West Hollywood, when he politely attains the request. Knowing of Pauls life-long love affair with marijuana, his muse for many a club hit over the years, I presume this is a smoke-free route to enjoy the herb. But when Ritchie his security guard comes back moments afterward, it is with a cold-pressed kale concoction in hand.

Thats quite the clean-living transformation, I remark. Sean Paul grins and leans back, relaxed, against a grand piano. Gone are his signature cornrows( or, afterward, his not-so-signature mohawk ), and he has given up smoking weed due to asthma. It turns out that I wasnt far wrong after all. Oh, I still like to get high, it helps with the imagination, he says. Except now I simply have it in tea.

Life has clearly changed since the early 2000 s, when Sean Paul Henriques brought the booty-bouncing rhythm of dancehall out of the Kingston clubs and onto the world stage. The Jamaican artist was once the go-to human for dancefloor dynamite, sungs that exhorted us all to shake that booty non-stop, when the beat drops just keep swinging it. Get Busy, Gimme The Light, the Beyonc-featuring Baby Boy, Breathe with R& B singer Blu Cantrell these ballads became commonplace, at carnival, in a bougie Chelsea bar or a suburban Oceana club. Back then he was among the worlds pop elite.

But while his 2002 album Dutty Rock launched dancehall into the mainstream, musical tastes inevitably moved on. And though Paul himself has been critical of some of dancehalls homophobic content, there was outcry over the derogatory lyrics of contemporaries like Beenie Man and Elephant Man. Soon the genre fell out of favor and out of the following chart. Pauls 2005 followup The Trinity was popular among fans but panned by critics, and he remembers his fade-out from global fame a little remorsefully.

Sean
Paul and Beyonc in 2003. Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/ WireImage

Since about 2009, I was fighting that worry that I wasnt relevant no more, he says, as we sit in the windowless womb of a studio. It does emphasize you out at times. I was like, I was up here and now Im nothing to people. His last album, 2014 s Full Frequency, sold fewer than 5,000 transcripts in the US. In 2015, the Grammy award-winning performer left his label and became an independent artist for the first time in a decade.

Over the past year, however, dancehall has been dutty wining its route back into the worldwide consciousness. Diplo, long in debt to dancehalls digital rhythms, brought them to an even wider audience as Major Lazer. Last year, Lazers track Lean On became the most streamed single of all time, albeit one thats since been given the dubious title of tropical pop. Then came Justin Biebers mega-hit Sorry, which teamed a skeletal dancehall beat with pure pop and was a accompanied by dancehall moves in the dancing video. Never one to be left out, Drake openly drew on dancehall throughout Views From The Six. Dancehall talent Assassin, meanwhile, attained his mark both on Kanyes Yeezus and, more recently, Kendrick Lamars To Pimp A Butterfly.

Its an international resurgence that Sean Paul has witnessed with both amusement and scepticism. Hes even saw dancehall influences in artists who might be considered unlikely adopters of Jamaican riddims. You can definitely hear it in Taylor Swift, he says. You know that song? He launches into a high-pitched rendition of the chorus of Shake It Off. See, theres definitely dancehall in there.

One thing was for sure, though: if dancehall was coming back, so was he. Sean Paul still lives in Jamaica, but we satisfy in LA because this is where he has come to work on his new album. The surprise success of Cheap Thrills, his recent chart-topper with one-woman pop hit machine Sia which not only reacquainted the starring with the top of the charts but also landed Sia her first Billboard number one has spurred him to finish his new material speedily. As the 43 -year-old says himself , no one is better placed to bring back some authentic dancehall.

He is outspoken about the new generation of artists whove appropriated the sound of dancehall without acknowledging its roots. It is a sore point when people like Drake or Bieber or other artists come and do dancehall-orientated music but dont credit where dancehall received from and they dont necessarily understand it, he says, shaking his head. A lot of people get upset, they get sour. And I know artists back in Jamaica that dont like Major Lazer because they think they do the same thing that Drake and Kanye did they take and take and dont credit.

While Paul says hes a fan of Drake( I love some of his songs but I dont think hes the best rapper) the bashment hook and patois phrases being implemented in Opinions From The Six are assured by Paul as less of a homage to dancehall and more of an exploitation. Hes not alone. In May, respected dancehall figure Mr Vegas openly attacked Drake as a fake for not fully crediting his Jamaican influences.

A major problem, Paul adds, is that many of the authentic dancehall artists in the Caribbean who gain popularity online cant get visas to travel in the US, both to tour and work with producers, because they have sentences on their records. One crossover artist Popcaan, for example, who appeared on Opinions From The Six and has furthermore worked with Jamie xx, has, according to Billboard, struggled to work in America because of past marijuana-related offences.

Sean Paul is equally dismissive of tropical home, a music genre which began as a way to describe the soft, Balearic-infused synth of DJs like Kygo but has since been attached to tracks which clearly draw from dancehall. Rolling Stones review of Rihannas Work described it as a tropical house-flavored track featuring Drake while a Wall Street Journal article described how Biebers What Do You Mean? was pioneering the Caribbean, beach-party vibe of tropical house in the mainstream. Its no astound that the genre has been accused of whitewashing Jamaican influences out of popular music.

Sean
Paul in the studio. Photograph: Bampson

But Paul does acknowledge that major label artists have adapted the dancehall voice for current savors, and this really is styles he has to look to, too, if he wants relevancy again. Dancehall is back but this time its also infused with Afrobeat, with hip-hop, with trap, and thats fine with me, he says. Sure, I would like what we do in Jamaica, that authentic dancehall, to be on top, but it simply isnt. So I want this album to bridge that gap.

Over the past year, hes penned more than 200 tracks, both on his own and in collaboration with musicians and producers back in Jamaica, and recruited a series of starry producers, such as Blood, who was behind Biebers Sorry. Theres a way with Wiz Khalifa as well as another with one of this years breakthrough pop superstars, yet to be announced. It doesnt sound too far off familiar Sean Paul territory, only with more EDM drops.

Pauls attitude is more one of pragmatism than puritanism when it is necessary to inducing sure this album recurs his successes of a decade ago. Hell seemingly work with anyone who is up for it. I merely worked with Clean Bandit, and another English pop group what are they called? There is an awkward pause as he tries to remember. Oh yeah, Little Mix.

The one constant is Pauls ole intent to construct people dance: hes the first to acknowledge he makes party music because it was one of the few levellers he had as a child. Growing up in a middle-class suburbium in Kingston, Paul was just 13 when his daddy was sentenced to 15 years in jail for drugs offences. As a outcome, his mum worked two jobs to keep the family afloat.

Music a sense of equality with everyone, and a release on the weekends when I didnt think about father in prison, or mum having to conflict, or me feeling like an outcast, he says. It was just like, This song is fucking dope, and that daughters hot, let me wine on her. Thats what I want my music to keep doing.

Now that hes married, and with a baby on the way, Sean Paul may no longer be the lothario we once knew( South American girls, Europe daughters, Harlem girls, Jamaica girls, Down Under girls he actually did love us all ), but his talent for get bodies sweaty on a dancefloor has not softened. As Blood takes to the desk and begins detonation out one of the new beats recorded in Jamaica, the urge to shake that thing is undeniable , no matter that were in a cramped studio. And that, right there, is why we still need Sean Paul.

Sean Paul performs at Bestival, Isle of Wight, 11 Sep, and Electric Ballroom, NW1, 13 Sep

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Desiigner: is the hyped rapper the genre’s new hope or a shameless hacker?

Hes signed to Kanyes label, divided sentiment at the BET awards and been accused of rending off Future but is there more to him than gratifies the eye?

Last year, Brooklyn rapper Desiigner crashed into the spotlight with Panda, a catchy trap way that likens a white BMW X6 to the endangered mammal. Within months of the way surfacing, the 19 -year-old rapper was signed to GOOD Music by the labels newly appointed president, Pusha T, and the signing was announced soon after by label boss Kanye West at his Yeezy Season 3 event. Wests album cut Pt 2 featured a instead prominent sample of Panda, which was blamed as a blatant bite of Atlanta rapper Future, who made two number 1 albums last year: Dirty Sprite 2 and What A Period To Be Alive with Drake. The comparison isnt without its flaws, but it has far more merit than Action Bronsons resemblance to Ghostface Killah or when some rap fans believed Your Old Droog to secretly be Nas. You dont have to listen too hard to hear Panda as Future cosplay.

Panda is clearly influenced by Futures highly influential running, a stretch among the most prolific in rap history. It attempts to synthesize the most basic elements of Future hits into a serviceable rapper-suit: the auto-tune coated croaks, the hammering nature of some of his most fearsome cadences( Same Damn Time, and Sh! t, for example ), and his chant-like recitations( Racks and Jumpman ). Even the lyrics to Panda read like a generator spitting out garbled content from Future anthems( I got broads in Atlanta/ Twistin dope, lean, and the Fanta isnt much of a stretch from Im rolling strong weed inside the Phantom/ Im just a street nigga from Atlanta/ We put the codeine inside a Fanta from Futures Jordan Diddy ). The anthem and Desiigner have received the ire of the #FutureHive and raised eyebrows from even casual commentators. He isnt the first rapper( or musician) to mold himself in the likeness of a popular starring, but he very well might be the laziest.

In the weeks that followed the Future revelation, Panda climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, get a folksy pop cover-up, and eventually going platinum in several countries. Its been a bigger reached than any sung of Futures. But whats been most astounding about this run is watching a anthem this boring become so trendy, and ensure Desiigner doubled down by releasing a full mixtape of Panda variations.

Desiigners story is an interesting one. The rapper turned a beat he purchased online for $200 originally labeled in its YouTube description a Meek Mill-Ace Hood Type Beat into a cosign from the worlds most popular rap superstar. If he isnt playing Future, then hes playing someone else. As MTV News critic Meaghan Garvey points out, his sound is heavily indebted to Chicagos drill scene, mimicking tumbling cadences from rappers like G Herbo( FKA Lil Herb) and Lil Bibby. Its a bit like watching one of those Michael Jordan-Kobe Bryant mirror-image highlight reels( merely instead of Kobe, its Nick Young ). Hes committed to the role.

The few samples of his early music remaining on the web are vignettes of other rap superstars: Desiigner fashioning himself shadow puppets in the likenesses of Kid Cudi, Travis Scott or Kevin Gates. His recently released debut mixtape, New English( a fitting title for a rapper who has largely produced indecipherable verses ), scans as charade that turns on the sonic prospers of Chief Keef( Da Day ), Waka Flocka Flame( Monstas& Villains) and, of course, Future( Roll Wit Me, Caliber ).

Desiigner
Desiigner Whats been most astonishing about this run is watching a sung this boring become so trendy. Photo: PR Image

If Desiigner isnt blatantly ripping off the styles of others, then at the very least hes a master troll. He continues to dance around the Future comparison in interviews, never outright denying the accusation. And when skeptics first starting saying Panda was a knock off of the Atlanta rapper, Desiigner responded by taunting a follow-up anthem called Pluto, the name of Futures debut album. The trolling has continued as recently as the coming week, where reference is performed Futures part in DJ Khaleds new single I Got The Keys. Its the closest hell get to being Future.

The best ballad of Desiigners career thus far isnt even a anthem; its an a cappella freestyle for his XXL Freshman class selection, a rap hymnal called Timmy Turner that has already inspired countless remixes. The tune commands more impression in 46 seconds than New English does in 36 minutes. Or, at least, it did, until legendary producer Mike Dean taunted the official version, which turns what was an impassioned performance into only another one of his soulless imitations. Desiigner is most interesting playing himself, but hes most comfortable playing someone else.

Read more: www.theguardian.com