Panda (song)

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"Panda"
DesiignerPanda.jpg
Single by Desiigner
from the album New English
Released December 15, 2015 (2015-12-15)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015
Genre
Length
  • 4:06 (album version)
  • 3:46 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Menace
Desiigner singles chronology
"Panda"
(2015)
"Champions"
(2016)

"Panda"
(2015)
"Champions"
(2016)
Music video
"Panda" on YouTube

"Panda" is the debut single by American rapper Desiigner. The song premiered on December 15, 2015 and was released for digital download on the iTunes Store as a single, before being re-released on February 22, 2016.[1] The song was written by Desiigner and the track's producer was Menace. "Panda" was heavily sampled by Desiigner's fellow GOOD Music label-mate and founder Kanye West for "Pt. 2", a song on West's seventh studio album The Life of Pablo, and inspired a number of remixes. The single topped the US Billboard Hot 100 at the end of April 2016.[2] A music video was released on May 10, 2016.[3] It was nominated for Best Hip Hop Video at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Composition[edit]

"Panda" is a Southern hip hop and trap song.[4][5] The hook was written about Desiigner's affinity for the BMW X6. Explained by Desiigner, lyrically, "the panda is the black X6 and the white X6. The black X6 look like a Phantom, the white X6 look like a panda. I'm just putting it in a greater way of how I say and the way I live."[6] Desiigner discovered the song's beat on YouTube, which was produced by up-and-coming Rochdale-based[7] producer Menace.[8][9][10] Menace has stated the track takes influence from the UK grime scene.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Rolling Stone named "Panda" one of the 30 best songs of the first half of 2016, writing "The Future-esque rapping and menacing trap beat that underlies "Panda"'s ridiculous repetition were already making Internet waves, but a prominent sample on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo made Desiigner a fixture everywhere from car stereos to Vogue shoots."[12] Billboard ranked "Panda" at number 24 on their "100 Best Pop Songs of 2016" list: "Visions of a black-and-white BMW X6 sparked Desiigner's breakout joyride anthem "Panda." The Brooklyn upstart's spazzy, high-octane bars may have required a Genius.com lyric video to decipher, but the energy was so contagious that Kanye West had to tap the melodic G.O.O.D. Music MC's smash for his own zeitgeist-capturing album."[13] Pitchfork listed "Panda" on their ranking of the 100 best songs of 2016 at number 56.[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Panda" debuted at number 96 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the chart issue dated March 12, 2016,[15] and reached the top five in its seventh week.[16] On its ninth week, "Panda" reached number one on the Hot 100 for the chart dated May 7, 2016, ending the nine-week reign of "Work" by Rihanna featuring Drake. The feat ended a record-setting 41-week streak of non-Americans topping the chart. It stayed at number one for two weeks, until it was replaced by "One Dance" by Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla on the chart issue dated May 21, 2016.[17] Desiigner is the first rapper to crown the Hot 100 with a debut chart entry since Iggy Azalea arrived with "Fancy" (featuring Charli XCX), which ruled for seven weeks beginning June 7, 2014.

At 18 years and 11 months old, Desiigner is the youngest artist to top the Hot 100 since Lorde, who was 16 years and 11 months old when "Royals" assumed the top spot (for nine weeks) on October 12, 2013.[17] The song spent seventeen weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100 before dropping out.

It also reached number one on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Among the Hot 100's component charts, "Panda" peaked at number 2 on Digital Songs and 10 on Radio Songs, and topped Streaming Songs.[18][19] As of December 2016, it has sold 1,524,000 copies in the United States.[20]

West sampled the track on his seventh studio album and also appeared in the music video.

Remixes, samples and media usage[edit]

"Panda" has been unofficially remixed several times by various rappers, including T-Pain, Lil Mama, Uncle Murda, Montana of 300, Dave East, Lupe Fiasco, Futuristic, Meek Mill, Lil' Kim, CupcakKe, Maino and Kash Doll, among others.[21][22] A Spanish version was released by Puerto Rican Latin trap artist Almighty on the Miami-based label Carbon Fiber Music.[23] Borrowing the original version's beat, it features Farruko, who also owns said label, and also serves as Almighty's signature song, as well as a slogan. A remix was also released and adds Daddy Yankee and Cosculluela.[21] Additionally, Latin trap artist and pioneer Anuel AA released a scathing diss track to Almighty, entitled "RIP Panda"; the reason being due to the latter allegedly underestimating the former and excluding him from the hit remix.[24]

Comedy Rapper Cal Chuchesta remixed the track in 2016. It is featured in the extended version of his debut album The New CALassic

Kanye West sampled the song for his song "Pt. 2" which appeared on his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo (2016). In an interview with Big Boy on June 3, 2016, Kanye West announced an official "15 minute" Panda remix, featuring verses from all GOOD Music artists. However, as of 2018, the remix has not seen any release.[25]

"Panda" was used by NBA player Shaquille O'Neal as his WrestleMania 32 entrance music.[26]

The song is also heard in the television shows Empire, Rosewood, Black-ish, Son of Zorn, Skam,[27] and The Last Man on Earth.

The song is also heard in the films Gangsterdam and Baywatch.

Music video[edit]

The song's official music video was released on May 10, 2016 through the subscription-based digital music streaming platform, Tidal. The music video features Desiigner himself, with a cameo appearance by American rapper Kanye West.[3]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[71] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Belgium (BEA)[72] Platinum 30,000*
France (SNEP)[73] Diamond 400,000*
Germany (BVMI)[75] Platinum 400,000^
Italy (FIMI)[76] 2× Platinum 100,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[77] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[78] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[79] 5× Platinum 1,524,000[20]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Panda - Single". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Desiigner, the Rapper Who Sounds Like Future, Now Has What Future Doesn't: A No. 1 Single". GQ. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "THE VIDEO FOR DESIIGNER's "PANDA" IS FINALLY HERE". Pigeons and Planes. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Pitchfork Staff (December 12, 2016). "The 100 Best Songs of 2016". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Peltz, Jonathan (April 12, 2016). "'Panda' Rapper Desiigner on Why His Mind Operates in a 'Crazy' Way and Working With Kanye West". Billboard. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  6. ^ "Interview: Desiigner Talks About the Success of "Panda" and Comparisons to Future". Complex. February 18, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  7. ^ Richardson, Sam (March 25, 2016). "Rochdale mobile phone shop worker features on Kanye West's new album (but it didn't pay that well)". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
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  10. ^ "Did Designer Make A Hit Out Of a "Future Type Beat" YouTube Search? - DatWAV.com". April 24, 2016.
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  23. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/7350276/desiigner-panda-almighty-chart-debut. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1wSsq0Fcv0. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  73. ^ "French single certifications – Desiigner – Panda" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  74. ^ "#PANDA @LifeOfDesiigner certifié SINGLE DIAMANT avec + de 35 millions Equivalent ventes #download + #streaming #Congrats". SNEP. November 29, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  75. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Desiigner; 'Panda')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
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  77. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Desiigner – Panda". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  78. ^ "British single certifications – Desiigner – Panda". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Panda in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  79. ^ "American single certifications – Desiigner – Panda". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 1, 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]