To most of us, Desiigner's No. 1 hit "Panda" seemed like it came out of nowhere. But it's not like the Brooklyn native just started rapping on a whim and was blessed with beginner's luck. The 19-year-old made a decision early in his teenage years -- after a frightening incident -- to pursue rap.
"I was a bad kid -- I was a hardhead, I was in the streets doing dumb shit," Desiigner told Genius in a new video. "I got hit [by a bullet] in my hip. It was a little bit of blood, and that little bit of blood — it wasn't serious, I was in the hospital 10 minutes, 30 minutes — but it was just that moment that really said, ‘Yo, mind your business.' When that happened to me, I knew I wasn't supposed to be there. I always had a voice in my head that said don't do the bad."
The same year he was shot -- when he was 14 -- Desiigner recorded "Jackie Chan," his first song: "[Being in the streets] wasn't working for me, so I was like, you know what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna sell my talent."
You can check out the full interview below, where he also discusses linking with G.O.O.D. Music, how "Panda" blew up, his earlier music, growing up in Brooklyn, and more.