Desiigner Bought the “Panda” Beat for $200 Off YouTube

By | Posted March 31, 2016
In 2014 an English producer sold a beat for $200 to some guy in NYC. Two years later he was getting a call from Kanye West.
2016-03-31-desiigner-panda-beat

This is the music industry, not a fairy tale. You might convince yourself that if you wait outside a building for hours to rap for Jay Z he'll hear you and change your life on the spot, but it's far more likely that you'll just go home wet, cold and tired. But every so often the impossible really does happen and dreams do come true...kind of. 

Case in point, Kanye West overheard Desiigner's "Panda" and just a few weeks later Desiigner was on his The Life of Pablo album twice, but that's not the fairy tale story. The fairy tale story is that English producer Menace sold Desiigner the beat for $200 off YouTube in 2014, and then two years later was getting a call from Yeezy for the files so he could use the beat on his album.

Genius has the interview

Normally people purchase my beats on my website. I remember someone buying the beat—I didn’t know who it was until someone retweeted me on Twitter saying this track that I did was fire. I listened to “Panda,” that’s when I found out this was something....When I posted on YouTube, I wrote: “Meek Mill—Ace Hood Type Beat.” So it came out totally different than [I thought]." - Menace

What Genius didn't ask, and what I'd be fascinated to learn, is how much Menace got paid and what share of the publishing he got for the placement on TLOP (I've reached out to him as well to find out). Producers selling beats off YouTube for $100 or $200 here and there is common, but there's almost never paperwork involved because why would there be? The chances of that song making any money ever are so slim it's not worth it.

So Menace could easily have just stumbled his way into a big check, or he also could be sitting there with nothing, looking at the silver lining. As he said later in the interview, "This is the big break I was waiting for, my stepping stone. I’m in the house right now."

Fairy tales do come true, they can happen to you, even if you're just a producer selling "Meek Mill-Ace Hood Type Beats" on YouTube. 

By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter. Art by Ridwan.

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