French Montana is short on skill but long on hustle and with Diddy by his side, and an assortment of guests and a who’s who of the hottest mainstream artists, he drops his debut album, Excuse My French. We’ve heard the singles far in advance and they bump hard as hell, but singles and a banging album are two different things.
Birdman and Rick Ross guest on the cliché Trap House. Sadly French is even out-rapped by the pedestrian Birdman over snare drums and stabbing strings and a sandwiched Rozay thruway verse. Wacka Flocka sted songwriting, 808’s and a repetitive hook power Ain’t Worried About Nuttin. Yes he is riding around with that Nina and the AK, SK the KKK and a bunch of other K’s. And some Molly. Next. Young Cash plays Future on Paranoid. Weak rapping, been there, done that beat and overly dramatic theme. The preceding song you’re not worried about anything and money is nothing and bitches ain’t nothing, but now you’re paranoid. Maybe he’s coming off that Molly high.
When I Want is another solo journey for French. He’s got 100 cars, he got stacks, he’s moving bricks, he’s got a bad bitch, etc. It’s not enough to pay attention to when the rap skill is low. Khaled hosts posse cut, Fuck What Happens Tonight. Movado’s in the house for some raga seasoning, hard-charging Ace Hood is there to raise the skill level, while Snoop Dogg and Scarface are there for veteran cosigns. Snoop still Cripping and Face is still depressing. He kicks his typical morbidity but French’s laughable verse dilutes any overarching effect.
The Weeknd sounds like Michael Jackson with shrunken balls on the hook to Gifted. His verse is whiney and annoying and actually has you looking forward to hearing French Montana rap, if only so the Weeknd stops. Surprisingly the angelic atmospherics and 80’s distorted guitar rhythm treats Montana well and this song would have been strong without Weeknd. Ballin Out begins with a flatline but the track is lively. Diddy rides shotgun with his trademark arrogance and Jeremih supplies another weak R&B chorus.
I Told Em is French Montana doing his best impression of Meek Mill. Though he has no inside voice, Meek can rhyme. Unfortunately, Montana has the beat and the pace right, but that’s about it. Pop That, featuring Ross, Drake and Weezy is pristine. You already knew that. Ditto the Nicki Minaj-guested Freaks. Shallah Raekwon brings the gutter to the album on the high-powered We Go Wherever We Want. The track is a rip of Ghostface’s Mighty Healthy and even French sounds good on this. Ne-yo is the first singing hook that doesn’t sound like shit.
Bust It Open is Pop That without the talent on Pop That. Beat is banging but…there’s no talent. Like a ham and cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and onions on fresh bread but no ham & cheese. Rico Love wastes a surefire Drake hit on French with Drink Freely. The song is well structured and crafted and Rick Ross and John Legend would have turned this into a certified single. With Montana, it’s just passable.
Fellow Coke Boy Chinx Drugz pops up on Throw It in The Bag on a throwaway beat with an MIA lite hook. Great for mixtapes, not worthy of an album track. Rick Ross makes a last-ditch attempt to save his homie on the disrespectfully dope Marble Floors. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz shine on these kinds of songs and this is no exception. Not enough to tip the scales on Excuse My French. Ocho Cinco is an all-Bad Boy collaboration that belongs in the garbage.
Excuse My French could have been better with better executive control. Even with this many guests, French Montana doesn’t have the talent to drop a 17 track album and believe it or not, he didn’t get down and dirty enough to bring the ignorance necessary for a weaker rapper to excel. Next time around, shorten the record, more quality control and some rap lessons. The singles save this album from the scrap heap.
Out of 5
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