Hearing Panda for the first time impressed Kanye West. He decided not only to sample the song on his own Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2 (from The Life of Pablo), but also sign the up-coming rapper behind it to GOOD Music. Thus, Desiigner became the latest addition to West’s recording label, joining other artists such as Big Sean, Pusha T and John Legend. Now as we know, rarely does a Kanye sample go unnoticed – his memorable and diverse choices have always played a central role in his music. It was only a matter of time until people would want to listen to the original Panda.
In an interview with The Fader, Desiigner recalls the brief, but crucial for his career meeting with Kanye West. It is worth nothing that West already had the track finished by then: “[When he first called,] he wanted to meet us but actually he had to do something, so we had to run to this destination and that destination. When we finally met him, he was on his way to Paris. I met him in front of LAX airport, we just sat in the car boppin’ with TMZ outside. He played the record for me, then he flew off to Paris.”
Desiigner’s rapping flow and tone have drawn many comparisons to Future, and both are artists that can be classified as trap-rap. The Brooklyn rapper did not try to deny any of the comparisons but instead spoke highly of his competitor’s music: “I ain’t gonna doubt the man’s music. He make beautiful music too. Music is made every day. Big ups to him, big ups to Future. I actually like Future’s music. I like his music, you feel me. I’m not a hater or a critic on him, you know, I do me. God bless him, God bless me.”
Panda spent 2 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Drake’s One Dance (featuring Wizkid and Kyla).