“Panda” by Desiigner is everywhere right now. The fire-hot track was first heard by the masses on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt 2,” from Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, and commonly mistaken initially as a Future joint (which makes it all the funnier that Panda has charted higher than every Future song to date).
The infectious, bass-heavy beat was originally created by 22-year old UK producer Menace, who sold the beat to Brooklyn-based G.O.O.D. Music signee Desiigner for a cool $200 after posting it to Youtube in 2014. The track resurfaced in 2015 as Desiigner’s finished product, but still went largely unnoticed until this spring, when Kanye brought it to the mainstream.
Now, just a couple of months later, Panda is everywhere. It’s literally the No. 1 rap song in the country (and No. 2 on the Hot 100), with new remixes and freestyles popping up nearly daily. But we all know that a track hasn’t truly permeated Pop Culture (or jumped the shark in most cases) until it’s been appropriated by white people. This time, luckily, we’re in for a treat.
The Swedish duo of Smith and Thell covered this song beautifully, taking it to the other end of the spectrum with a guitar-and-banjo driven Folk style, that somehow manages to keep the edge of the original track alive, while making the lyrics much easier to understand. The track has received mixed reviews, which I get; folk rap isn’t for everyone! But I, for one, am beyond impressed and love this different take! Give it a listen and leave your thoughts in the comments.