Thursday, May 10, 2018

Desiigner - L.O.D. Review

To pity Desiigner, to not pity Desiigner? That is the question. Once an archetypal Soundcloud rapper with no business being in the spotlight, Desiigner's massive surge in popularity thanks to Kanye West certainly didn't prepare him for the expectations associating with such an artist warrants. Anything but an impossible reinvention will categorize the Brooklyn rapper as a one-hit wonder, shooting up the charts thanks to the viral smash 'Panda,' an unbelievably catchy song that guided Trap's course for senseless, meme-worthy lyrics and ad-lib supremacy. Two and a half years have passed since 'Panda,' nearly two since his infamous XXL verse and his rushed New English project. To endure such remission in Trap is a guaranteed trip to irrelevance. To return with seven songs attached to the long-hyped Life Of Desiigner project, the best being an unmistakable 'Gucci Gang' knockoff, assures career suicide. Kanye's outright avoidance of said project, despite being released in the crosshairs of the G.O.O.D. Music creator's manic publicity dump, is telling of the quality and appeal contained within.

Despite a cover that harbors similarities to Kendrick Lamar's polaroid on good kid, m.A.A.d. city, there are no moments of familial reflection or upbringing hardships to be found here. The pairing of title, cover, and music is entirely unfounded, as deduced within the first moments of 'Priice Tag,' a track that predictably's about flaunting one's wealth with unceremonious presentation. One can see the cyclical cycle of Trap here, as Desiigner's biting of Lil Pump comes as a response to his own take on 'Panda.' In spite of the obvious inspiration, 'Priice Tag' emphatically marks L.O.D.'s height, soaring past anything on New English (sans 'Panda') with confident flows and intoxicating swagger (which both remind me of Missy Elliott). From there on out, L.O.D. never deviates from its slow and excruciating descent. 'Tonka,' while vapid content-wise, contains enough energy to muster the blustery duration. 'After Party' relies on a haunting, minimalistic beat that's handedly mildly well, even if the "after party" line is irritatingly overused. 'Pop iiT' is an impressively forgettable Future ripoff, which re-reminded me of Desiigner's first controversy copying said rapper.

Moving onwards, 'Destiination' marks a sudden and unforeseen moment of heartache for the rapper. This, predictably, doesn't work well. It has less to do with the structuring and tone of the song, as the slow-moving Alternative R&B beat is adequate, and more to do with Desiigner's one-dimensionality in the energy department abruptly getting curtailed. Because of this, 'Destiination' feels unnatural and trend-abiding. 'LA To NY' is just bad. Not just bad, it's arguably Desiigner's worst song yet, especially noteworthy given the breath of demos the rapper has played off as finished products. A driveling beat, inept content, repetition of uncatchy lines, and unconscionable ab-libs drive 'LA To NY' to the bottom of the barrel. Lastly, 'Hood' redeems some of the previous track's missteps by taking a more sobering turn over affective autotune, even if it's another Future clone, this time borrowing content and style from 'Group Home.' The counterfeit songs that bookend L.O.D. act as the perfect summary to the EP's overall emptiness. Desiigner's personality has fallen by the wayside, replaced with desperate attempts to latch onto something or someone, rather than conceive an expression all his own. Gone goes the 'Panda' king.

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