French Montana, ‘Excuse My French’ – Album Review
After earning his stripes on the mixtape circuit with his ‘Cocaine City’ DVDs and mixtapes, French Montana finally arrives with his Bad Boy Records debut album, ‘Excuse My French.’
On the 13-track collection (19 if you cop the deluxe version), the Moroccan-born New Yorker is full of bluster when touching on topics of money, weed and women. The music on this album is heavily-drenched in the trap rap sound but there are a few songs that have that ’90s-era New York vibe to them.
The first half of the album is nothing but trap music with tracks will get listeners turnt up for sure. Unfortunately, much of Montana’s get-money rhymes become repetitive and dull. Tracks like ‘Trap House,’ ‘When I Want’ and ‘I Told Em’ are all cut from the same trap music cloth. If you enjoy those types of songs, the first-half of the album is for you.
The collection really picks up steam on the latter half with the gritty ‘F— What Happens Tonight’ featuring DJ Khaled, Mavado, Ace Hood, Snoop Dogg and Scarface, the street banger ‘We Go Where Ever We Want’ featuring Ne-Yo and Raekwon and ‘Throw It in the Bag’ featuring Chinx Drugz. All the songs feature impressive verses and great beats.
We also think that fans will be surprised by Montana’s storytelling skills on the cautionary song ‘If I Die.’ We just wish there was more of it on the rest of the album.
Overall, French Montana’s ‘Excuse My French’ is a solid debut that should take the Bronx rhyme-spitter to greater heights in the rap game.
1. ‘Once In a While’ Feat. Max B
French Montana kicks off the album with a song featuring his now-incarcerated collaborator Max B. The Bronx rapper details his rise in the rap game — from being shot in the head, to flipping DVDs to dining with Diddy. Ladies and gentlemen, the self-proclaimed Coke Boy has finally arrived.
2. ‘Trap House’ Feat. Birdman & Rick Ross
Produced by Jahlil Beats, this head-nodding trap song features Montana, Rozay and No. 1 Stunna spitting braggadocios rhymes about getting that money. It’s time to get turnt up!
3. ‘Ain’t Worried About Nothin”
Montana has no worries on this bonafide New York street anthem. The lyrics might be forgettable but his catchy chorus (“ain’t worried about nothin'”) will leave you humming it to yourself.
4. ‘Paranoid’ Feat. C.A.S.H.
A haunting track about the perils of being a street hustler and how unforgiving the streets can be. T-Pain‘s protege C.A.S.H. sings the hook. On a cursory listen, he sounds a little like Future.
5. ‘When I Want’
Another trap song about flipping bricks and getting money. At this point, the music is getting redundant and the lyrics are boring. Although the subject matter is tired, the beat is banging.
6. ‘F— What Happens Tonight’ Feat. DJ Khaled, Mavado, Ace Hood, Snoop Dogg & Scarface
A fantastic posse song featuring great rap performances from Hood and veteran rhyme-slingers Snoop Dogg and Scarface. The track also references the Diplomats’ classic tune ‘I Really Mean It.’ The big standout on here is ‘Face’s gritty rhymes about the paranoia that comes with living the street life. A rewindable track for sure.
7. ‘Gifted’ Feat. the Weeknd
Montana taps the Weeknd to provide his airy falsetto on this haunting song about greed, envy and the pursuit of getting that money.
8. ‘Ballin Out’ Feat. Jeremih & Diddy
Produced by Cardiak, this head-nodding track has the potential to be a radio hit for the New York rapper. On the get-money anthem, Montana and Diddy vow to ball till they fall.
9. ‘I Told Em’
Another club track with Montana spitting rhymes about getting money. Although his lyrics are tired, the beat is fantastic.
10. ‘Pop That’ Feat. Rick Ross, Drake & Lil Wayne
Everyone should know what this song is about. The twerk anthem still sounds just as infectious as it did when it was released last summer. Strange enough, this is when the album picks up steam.
11. ‘Freaks’ Feat. Nicki Minaj
Another familiar track that got plenty of burn when it was released a few months ago. Nicki Minaj sounds great on the song that samples two dancehall classics — Lil Vicious’ ‘Freaks’ and Chaka Demus and Pliers’ ‘Murder She Wrote.’ The video is equally titillating thanks to the Queen Barb. [Watch the Video]
12. ‘We Go Where Ever We Want’ Feat. Ne-Yo & Raekwon
A big standout on the album. If you are a New Yorker, you’ll recognize the beat from Raekwon’s classic banger ‘Ice Cream.’ So, it’s no coincidence that the Chef is on here spitting his descriptive rhymes about the life of a street hustler.
13. ‘Bust It Open’
Produced by the Arsenals, the song samples yet another Uncle Luke song, ‘I Wanna Rock.’ It’s on the same vibe as ‘Pop That’ so it’s tailor-made for twerking and nothing else. Yawn. It’s a skippable song.
14. ‘Drink Freely’ Feat. Rico Love
Montana gets romantic on this seductive rap ballad. On it, the New York rapper seduces his female companion with come-ons and offers of free drinks of champagne. We don’t see Montana as a lothario, but the song is nice and smooth thanks to Rico Love’s production.
15. ‘Throw It In the Bag’ Feat. Chinx Drugz
This is another fantastic street banger featuring Coke Boyz alum Chinx Drugz. The booming beat and skittering hi-hats will make you head nod uncontrollably. We see this song getting major spins in the clubs.
16. ‘Marble Floors’ Feat. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
Producer Mike WiLL Made It laced this song with an interesting trap beat that sees the four rappers boasting about how many women they have bedded. The beat is great, the lyrics, not so much.
17. ‘Ocho Cinco’ Feat. MGK, Los, Red Cafe & Diddy
The Bad Boy crew team up on this posse cut about fellatio. The track originally appeared on Montana’s ‘Mac & Cheese 3′ mixtape. The only thing memorable about the song is the chorus. A skippable track nonetheless.
18. ‘If I Die’
Montana displays his storytelling skills on this orchestral-sounding track. The Bronx rapper talks about Jermaine, an enterprising hustler who met his demise on the streets. It’s an incredible song that should have been on the standard edition as opposed to those nauseating trap songs.
19. ’40’ Feat. Fabolous & Trey Songz
This also should have been on the standard edition. On the Lex Luger-produced banger, the rap trifecta (yes, Trey Songz is rapping here) boasts about getting money and living life to the fullest. [Listen Here]
Watch French Montana’s ‘Ain’t Worried About Nothin’ Video