Sunday, January 11, 2015

French Montana - Excuse My French (Album Review)

Released : May 21, 2013
Bad Boy / Interscope Records

I heard about French Montana years ago, obviously from watching the Cocaine City DVDs when he used to interview people. I didn't start listening to his music until he released his "Mac Wit Da Cheese" Mixtape, being a Max B fan you were bound to listen to French since they had so many songs together. Then the beef they had with Jim Jones and ByrdGang was hilarious! French had the perfect set-up, he put out Shot Caller as a warm up single, then Pop That. I'm confused as to why Bad Boy didn't release the album at that time because Pop That was a hit. Its about a year later and some of the momentum has died down. I wonder why there aren't any beats from Harry Fraud or Dame Grease on here and they were part of some of French's biggest mixtape songs. He was also on Akon's Konvict Label a few years ago and signed to Mizay Ent before the Bad Boy deal.

The biggest knock people have against French is that he isn't "lyrical", well if you were familiar with his past music then why would you even expect to hear some deep super lyrical type stuff? I'm not saying lyrics shouldn't matter, but everything doesn't have to lyrical, some people just want music to chill to or play loud in their whips. To each its own. One thing I did notice though is since Max B been locked up French changed his sound to whichever artist he affiliated himself with. When he linked up with Waka and Gucci, he started making trap music and put out the "Mister 16 (Casino Life)", the same thing happened when he linked up with Ross, he started doing chanty hooks and following the Southern sound. But it worked it for him and got his name out there more.

Once in a While starts the album off with Max B talking on the intro, followed by a sample of Kanye West's "Barry Bonds", French even flips 50 Cents "Your Lifes On The Line" hook. Its definitely a dope track and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. One thing French has always been good at is making catchy hooks, Ain't Worried About Nothin' produced by Earl & E and Rico Love and the  J Oliver produced I Told Em are proof of that. I'm surprised he didn't do more of the hooks himself. The Weeknd brings his falsetto to one of the standout tracks Gifted, if the label was smart they would make this next single because definitely it has potential to be a hit.

The Jalil Beats produced Trap House (featuring Birdman & Rick Ross) is a street anthem, all three of them did their thing. Some classic Hip-Hop songs get sampled, The Diplomats "I Really Mean It", gets sampled on  F**k What Happens Tonight (featuring DJ Khaled, Mavado, Ace Hood, Snoop Dogg & Scarface) , the beat is slightly different from the original but it still has those triumphant horns and drums. Some people might look at the artist and say that's a weird collaboration, but the trust me the song goes hard and nobody sounds out of place on it. We Go Where Ever We Want" (featuring Ne-Yo & Raekwon) samples Raekwons classic "Ice Cream", and it also a standout track.

Overall French does has some missteps, he tries to go the dancehall route on  Freaks (featuring Nicki Minaj), but the song never really caught on, it came and went. I do suggest people to check out the video, Nicki was looking right! I could not get into Paranoid, Young Cash came off as a Future knockoff, especially in the beginning. Drink Freely (featuring Rico Love) is okay but they had a better collaboration on "Grownups" off French's Mac & Cheese 3 mixtape and speaking of that mixtape, its clearly better than this album. It feels as though French put all of his best material on that mixtape. The album is solid at best, its not wack but it wont really make you a fan, so save your money folks. I'm still a fan, but when he puts out another album, I wanna see some growth instead of him sticking to the same old sound.
3/5 Stars

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