Type Beats: from the bottom of YouTube to the top of Billboard

Shkyd
6 min readMay 21, 2016

I got broads in Atlanta / twistin’ the lean and the Fanta”… Desiigner’s first hit song Panda 🐼 was impossible to avoid in 2016. First brought by Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo, it became the #1 song in the USA, making the newest G.O.O.D music signee the youngest artist to reign the charts since Lorde in 2013, the first male rapper to reach number one with his first single since Wiz Khalifa in 2011, and also the first to chart a rap song this high without singing or the help a feature to sing the hook since… Kanye West’s Stronger, 9 years ago 😲

There’s two fairy tales in this story : how 18 years old Brooklyn rapper Desiigner ended up being picked by Kanye West, and how the song came together from a Type Beat he purchased on YouTube for $200 in 2014. Let’s focus on the latter. Panda was produced by Menace, 22 years old Manchester-native. The beat was uploaded to his YouTube channel and sold through his website, and this PayPal transaction was enough to make the song chart #1 without having to get the artists to even meet each other IRL.

The Type of this Beat was Meek Mill. It sound great without crossing any line, following the basic Trap sound pattern: bass-heavy 808, crisps snares, rolling hi-hats, gritty sounds, simple loop melodies. This type of sound has been popular and loved for several years, however, no Trap song ever reached #1 before Panda. Menace was able to chart higher than any producer he might have been influenced by: Lex Luger, Cardiak or Metro Boomin’ have massive popular hits, but never had a #1 song.

What‘s a “Type Beat” ? 😧

A Type Beat is an instrumental song, purposely matching patterns of already…

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Shkyd

Saint Dmitri avait rendez-vous dans la steppe avec Dieu lui-même