Published Jul 18, 2017When MC4, which was meant to be French Montana's sophomore project, instead became his 21st official mixtape as a result of a distribution/retail gaffe, Jungle Rules inadvertently became a make-or-break album for the Moroccan-born, New York City-based rapper. Although songs from his debut record put him in the mainstream cycle, the single "Unforgettable" featuring Swae Lee put him onto a whole new world stage, creating an immense amount of hype that the new album has managed to live up to.
At 18 songs, French delivers a cohesive cover-to-cover platter of flame emojis that traverse his range — which now includes a world vibe that doesn't directly play into a forced reggae flow like "Freaks," off of his debut album Excuse My French. Tracks like "Formula," featuring Alkaline, and "Famous" play off of the success of "Unforgettable," balancing the record out.
His collaboration with Pharrell, "Bring Dem Things" — which prominently features a sample of Organized Konfusion's "S.T.R.E.S.S" — is a resurrection of the long-lost Skateboard P, who we last saw in full bloom on the Clipse's "Mr. Me Too." It's also hard to ignore the fact that "A Lie," featuring the Weeknd and Max B. has a Biggaveli verse so clean that you'd swear the Harlem rapper was out of jail and hiding out in French's studio.
French recently noted in an interview with MTV that a collaborative mixtape with Migos is in the pipeline; "Migos Montana," featuring Quavo, is an exciting look at what we can expect from that project.
Jungle Rules is full of summer vibes, and makes a perfect addition to not only Frenchie's catalogue but any summer playlist — which is to say it was worth the wait. (Bad Boy/Epic Records)