French Montana Excuse My French

French MontanaExcuse My French
French Montana is a product of the times; he lacks substance, integrity and talent, but looks good in a photo. The snakes in big downtown offices know this character well; they drape him in Egyptian fabrics, massage his ego and wait to collect on their loan. Meanwhile, the music suffers. Excuse My French is almost exclusively loud and aggressive, which has become the formula for this type of thing: programmed, repetitive hi-hats, 808s and a guest verse by Rick Ross. Compared to the innovative production on Chance the Rapper and Green Ova's records, for example, or even Drake's recent material, Montana's selection of trap beats falls flat. It's the kind of sweatshop beat-making mainstream producers have learned to accept as they cash their cheques. Lyrically, Montana does what any cat on the corner can do: talk slick. "Gifted," with the Weeknd, sees French exhaust a trivial rhyming concept about icons' last contributions to popular culture, from Jimmy Hendrix's concluding note to Derek Jeter's final catch, while the Weeknd takes the opportunity to flirt with a new fan base by glamorizing groupies. "I Told Them" is a rare standout, in that you can actually imagine the Montana character flying far, far away in Diddy's private jet — ideally into space. Montana's only appeal is his hustler's ambition. (Bad Boy)