Review: French Montana’s debut album Excuse My French
Being the head honcho of Coke Boys collective, the director of Cocaine City Records, pumping out memorable mix-tapes such as “Laundry Man,” “French Revolution” and “Mac & Cheese 3” and signing a joint record deal with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group and Sean “P.Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records, the Moroccan emcee French Montana has built himself quite a resume.
His debut album “Excuse My French” is filled with catchy hooks about club and gang beats with verses consisting of stories about making money while being in and out of the role of a cocaine dealer.
The opening track, “Once in a While,” executes a successful and beautiful start to the album with its infectious drum loop and soulful sample in the instrumental. Given what fans of Montana know about his breakthrough in the music industry and how one drug related stunt nearly ended his life, the song does well to portray a feeling of overcoming the odds.
“Paranoid” and “What Happens Tonight” are violent, gangster rap tracks with heavy and grittily rambunctious production provided by Young Chop and The Beat Bully. The former track speaks true to complications of drug selling life that French Montana once lived before the fame. Although the lyrics aren’t as aesthetically detailed, the beat takes the track home with its sound similar to Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like.”
The latter track, which harbors seamlessly smooth flows from Ace Hood, Snoop Dog and Houston’s own Scarface, is equally violent but also equally energetic. The Major-Harris-sampled beat helps keep the cast in their A-game, and Montana vibrantly excels in his verse. Jamaican vocalist Mavado also exudes with a powerful, intimidating chorus.
While ”Excuse My French” showcases a softer, laid back side of the Maybach Music, French Montana struggles with solo tracks.
Besides the first track, all four of his solo songs are the worst that the album has to offer. “Ain’t Worried About Nothing” sounds repetitive, and “I Told Them” and “Bust It Open” are uninteresting. The beats are subpar, and French’s lyrics are cut from the same quality.
“Excuse My French” isn’t a bad album, but there lies a mystery behind the microphone. With the number of guests in this album, Montana is trying to deviate himself away from the spotlight. His lack of presence and balance between his voice and the voice of his friends interfere with the overall tone of the album. Because of this, his debut into mainstream hip-hop is off to a bad start.
For longtime fans of his artistry, the album is a solid one that may get played for a while. For unfamiliar fans, “Excuse My French” is a reason why they continue to wonder how merits get attention in the rap game.