For anyone that believes rap music has steered away from the streets in the last few years, Gucci Mane’s 1017 Brick Squad has been grinding to bring it back. Repping a crew that also boasts Waka Flocka, Wooh Da Kid, Slim Dunkin and OJ Da Juiceman, New York native Frenchie comes through with the appropriately titled Concrete Jungle.
To open the tape, the South Side Jamaica, Queens rapper kicks raps from the pavement on “Concrete Jungle,” where he lays his foundation: “Call up DJ Holiday, let’s go make a trap tape,” he spits. For the next 19 tracks, that’s exactly what the braided rhymer does, dismissing haters (“Doubt Me”) and respecting the hustle (“Grind Hard”).
As a result, the mixtape doesn’t offer much when it comes to variety, but that’s not its objective: those who come to Frenchie’s music are looking for that ferociousness. The same goes for the rowdy production rushing through the album; for the most part, each beat bangs, but is minimally distinguishable from the one before and the one after. This formula, though, has seemed to work for Frenchie and his fellow Brick Squad soldiers, and it’s one they look to continue following.
With a vigor in his voice that’s both gripping and convincing, Frenchie uses Concrete Jungle to prove he primed to position himself as the next to hold it down for 1017 Brick Squad. —Adam Fleischer