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Sidney Royel Selby III (born May 3, 1997), better known by his stage name Desiigner, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. In December 2015, his debut single "Panda" reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In February 2016, Kanye West (who sampled "Panda" for his seventh album) signed Desiigner to his GOOD Music imprint.

Background information
Birth nameSidney Royel Selby III
Also known asDesigner Royel
Born(1997-05-03)May 3, 1997
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • singer
Years active2014–present
Associated acts
Websitelifeofdesiigner.com [41]

Early life

Selby was born on May 3, 1997,[1] in Brooklyn, New York.[2][3] He is of Afro-Barbadian and African American descent,[4] and is the grandson of blues musician Sidney "Guitar Crusher" Selby. He grew up in the Louis Armstrong housing projects in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood.[5] He began practicing vocals at school choir and church. At the age of 14, after being shot, he embarked on his music career.[6][7]


Desiigner (right) with a fan in April 2018

Desiigner (right) with a fan in April 2018

Desiigner embarked on his music career under his original moniker Dezolo,[8] before he began putting out work on these tracks under the alias of Designer Royel, especially with Royel (his middle name). His sister convinced him to drop the "Royel" part and then keep the "Designer" part as his new stage name, doubling the "I"'s. On December 3, 2015, under his new pseudonym, Desiigner released his debut track, called "Zombie Walk". The song was produced by The Shell God.[9] On December 15, 2015, Desiigner released his commercial debut single, titled "Panda" on SoundCloud.[10] The song released on iTunes within five days later, before being re-released as of February 2016.[11] On February 11, 2016, Desiigner signed a recording contract with Kanye West's GOOD Music imprint, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings.[12] After signing a record deal, Desiigner subsequently appeared on two tracks — "Pt. 2" (which features an interpolation of "Panda") and "Freestyle 4" — that was taken from Kanye West's seventh album The Life of Pablo. Desiigner then went on to perform at the 2016's South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.[13][14] In an interview with Billboard, Desiigner confirmed the release of his first upcoming mixtape, titled Trap History Month.[15]

On May 5, 2016, producer Mike Dean announced that he would be serving as the executive producer for Desiigner's upcoming debut studio album.[16] On May 24, Desiigner announced that the title to his upcoming debut album would be called The Life of Desiigner.[17] In June 2016, XXL magazine revealed their annual "Freshmen Class" for 2016, and Desiigner was included on the list with nine other new artists.[18] In June 2016, "Champions" was released as the lead single from the GOOD Music's upcoming compilation album, Cruel Winter. Desiigner made a guest appearance on this track, alongside his label-mate Kanye West, and other rappers such as Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Yo Gotti and Quavo.[19] In the same month, Desiigner made his US television debut, when he performed his single, "Panda" at the 2016's BET Awards.[20] On June 26, 2016, Desiigner released his first full-length mixtape, titled New English on Tidal, following a live premiere of the mixtape on June 22.[21][22] In July 2016, American pop singer Demi Lovato brought out Desiigner at her concert in New York.[23] On July 21, 2016, Desiigner premiered the track, called "Tiimmy Turner", which was released as a single on iTunes the next day.[24] Desiigner appeared as a special guest on the Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World. On November 7, 2017 it was reported that BTS will release a remix of their song "Mic Drop" featuring Desiigner and it was said that the remix was made by Steve Aoki. It is set to be released on November 17, 2017 but it was postponed and set to be released on November 24, 2017 instead.

On May 3, 2018, Desiigner announced via social media that his debut EP, L.O.D., would be released at midnight on May 4, 2018.[25]

On September 8, 2016, Desiigner and three other people were arrested in New York City, after a 911 caller claimed that he pulled a gun on them. Desiigner was later found in an SUV with four other people and the vehicle was searched. The police allegedly found oxycodone and guns, for which he and the other individuals received drug and weapon charges. They were all detained in custody.[26][27] On September 10, 2016, he was acquitted of the felony gun charge.[28] He was cleared of the charges on September 12, 2016, when it was found that the pills were anabolic steroids belonging to his driver.[29]

Musical style

Desiigner's musical style is influenced by southern hip hop, namely trap music which originated in Atlanta, Georgia.[15] His rapping technique and vocals have been compared to that of Atlanta-based rapper Future. When asked about the frequent comparisons, he told Complex: "God gave him a blessing, but he gave me a blessing too. 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."[30]


  • New English (2016)

  • L.O.D. (2018)

Awards and nominations

2016Teen Choice AwardsChoice Music: R&B/Hip-Hop Song"Panda"Nominated[31]
MTV Video Music AwardsBest New ArtistHimselfNominated[32]
Best Hip-Hop Video"Panda"Nominated
BET Hip Hop AwardsBest Hip Hop VideoNominated[33]
People's Champ AwardNominated
Best New Hip Hop ArtistHimselfNominated
MTV Video Music Awards JapanBest Hip Hop Video"Panda"Nominated[34]
American Music AwardsVideo of the YearNominated[35]
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop SongNominated
WatsUp TV Africa Music Video AwardsWatsUp TV Viewers Choice AwardWon[36]
2017Grammy AwardsBest Rap PerformanceNominated[37]
iHeartRadio Music AwardsHip-Hop Song of the YearNominated[38]
Hip-Hop Artist of the YearHimselfNominated
Best New Hip-Hop ArtistNominated
Billboard Music AwardsTop New ArtistHimselfNominated[39]
Top Streaming Songs ArtistNominated
Top Rap ArtistNominated
Top Streaming Song (Video)"Panda"Won
Top Rap SongWon


Citation Linkwww.billboard.comTrust, Gary (April 25, 2016). "Desiigner's 'Panda' Claws to No. 1 on Hot 100, Bringing Americans Back to the Top". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016. Desiigner is 18 years and 11 months old; he'll turn 19 on May 3.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkpigeonsandplanes.com"The New Wave: Desiigner - "Panda"". Pigeons & Planes. 9 February 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.xxlmag.comemmanuel (19 February 2016). "The Break Presents: Desiigner". XXL Mag.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwwd.comHughes, Aria (17 May 2016). "Meet Desiigner: The Elusive and Kanye West-Mentored Rapper". Retrieved 13 May 2017.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.billboard.com"Desiigner on His Difficult Past and How His No. 1 Hit 'Panda' Gave Him a Way Out".
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.hotnewhiphop.com"Everything You Need To Know About Desiigner". HotNewHipHop. February 22, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com"Desiigner Freestyle and talks Panda & Kanye". KISS FM UK. May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.mtv.com"Desiigner – Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates – MTV". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comDesiigner Ft. King Savage- "Zombie Walk" (Prod. By: @TheShellGod). 3 December 2015 – via YouTube.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comDesiigner- Panda (OFFICIAL SONG) Prod. By: Menace. 20 December 2015 – via YouTube.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkitunes.apple.com"Panda – Single". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved April 18, 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.hotnewhiphop.comDanny Schwartz (11 February 2016). "Brooklyn Rapper Desiigner Signs To G.O.O.D. Music". HotNewHipHop.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.complex.comChris Mench (March 16, 2016). "Desiigner Courts More Future Comparisons, Debuts New Song "Plutoat SXSW".www.complex.com.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkhypetrak.com"Desiigner Debuts New Song "Pluto" & Performs "Panda" at SXSW".
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.billboard.comPeltz, 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.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.billboard.comJ. Pablo Caraballo (6 May 2016). "'Lemonade' Producer Mike Dean Gives the Behind-the-Scenes Scoop on Beyoncé's Opus". Billboard.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkhiphopdx.com"Desiigner Announces "Life Of Desiigner" Album". HipHopDX. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.xxlmag.com"2016 XXL Freshman Class Cover – XXL". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.xxlmag.com"Kanye West premieres new single with Gucci Mane, Travis Scott and more off Cruel Winter". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.bet.com"Desiigner Performs 'Panda' and Turns Up the BET Awards". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 10:42 PM