French Montana is neither from France or Montana, but instead is an American emcee whom was born in Morroco, so maybe a more appropriate name would be Rocco Americana, but that’s neither here nor there. What you do need to know about French Montana, is that 1) he came up in the mixtape game, working heavily with Action Bronson producer Harry Fraud (though you’d never know it, as he is notably absent on this album) 2) he’s signed to Bad Boy and 3) he makes detrimental-to-society-300-lb-dudes-standing-on-table-rap. That’s it, in a nutshell.
With his major label debut, Excuse My French (we would have went with The French Connection, but hey), the question is raised as whether or not French will carry on a legacy started by Biggie, or rather go the route of so many other failed Bad Boy artists, such as Yung Joc, Black Rob, or G-Dep.
French carries himself with a level of cool confidence that gentlemen like Rick Ross and DJ Khaled also have, which will likely allow him to stay in the rap game much longer than he should, far over-extending his welcome. That being said, it’s not the music that will keep him relevant, as his lazy flow and repetitive hooks (“”Bust It Open, “I Told Em”) show little in the way of innovation or staying power. I mean, this is Neanderthal-full-retard-rap at it’s worst, but you just might find yourself saying “Molly and Aquafina!” out loud the next time “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’” comes on and you are drunk in the club. Hey, we do it too.
The best track on this album is “Fuck What Happens Tonight”, some brooding music-to-drive-by, driven by a haunting Mavado hook, alongside guest shots from Snoop Dogg, Scarface, and Ace Hood. Yet in this day-and-age of kindergarten school shootings and babies catching stray bullets, it’s hard to justify listening to this kind of thing and not feeling some kind of remorse; especially when you don’t have to.
But being that this is the best thing the album has to offer, it’s next best trick is obviously the previously released club smash, “Pop That”, which is arguably one of the hottest tracks of the moment. Yet what these two tracks have in common is that they are dominated by their guests, pretty much red flagging that the album’s best tracks feature as little French as possible. What does that tell you?
It’s clear that the rest of the album – much of it drug game / hoe slapping / murder rap bravado – is actually the kind of music that French wants to make, not singles like the commercially viable “Pop That”, or it’s follow-up “Freaks”, which isn’t half bad. The same can be said for “We Go Where Ever We Want” with Ne-Yo and Raekwon. But what can also be said about the most listenable moments on the album, is that they are – in true Bad Boy fashion – jackings of songs we actually like; Chaka Demus & Pliers “Murder She Wrote” and Rae’s own “Ice Cream”. What does that tell you?
What it tells us is that the music industry is broken, designed by folks that pat one another on the back and tell each other that the product they are pushing is good, when it’s actually terrible. Sure, French may end up like Rick Ross, by finding his lane and actually creating some decent music, but this is one poor Excuse.
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