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Album Review: French Montana, Excuse My French

What French Montana has always lacked in technical ability, he’s made up for with personality. French is a stone cold charmer; a Waka Flocka Flame with less energy in many ways. Like Waka, his approach to music is similar to that of a high school football jock who decides he can do anything—act in plays, do well academically, and invevitably, rap— so he does it all in an earnest and sincere way. Even when it’s ridiculous, he’s still going for it. French has been able to stick around all these years because he’s a likable guy who everybody (from Raekwon to Nicki Minaj to The Weeknd, all of whom appear here) wants to hang out with, even if he isn’t really breaking any new ground.

But, none of this is to say Excuse My French isn’t good. As an artist, he’s got swag to spare and enough of a presence to carry songs on his own (a bizarre recurring argument that doesn’t stick). He’s also got a knack for beat selection, however the absence of French’s longtime producer Harry Fraud on the album is confusing. Standouts include the gritty banger “Marble Floors,” swag anthem “Ballin’ Out” and the album’s darkest and most introspective track “Gifted.” The Max B-featuring “Once In A While” is an epic opener, though it’s a high-point that sets up listeners for an experience French can’t quite deliver on for the remaining 17 tracks. But to be fair, maintaining such a high energy level is an impossible feat – how do you build to anything when your entire record is one long climax?

For every artistic, deep-thinking rhymer in hip-hop, you need someone like French Montana, who can balance out the ratchet equilibrium of the genre, so taken at face value—as a fun record filled with turn-up anthems—Excuse My French is a good album, possibly the best one the Coke Boy could make. There’s enough big boasts and big beats here to carry French’s charm, which is really all you could ask for with a debut LP from the Bad Boy. —Dan Buyanovsky

  • lol

    lol

  • pryingeyes

    i like french when i want to get ignorant. But this review is insanely apologetic did french pay you? The album is alright, not enough chinx needed some fraud and a guest from curren$y and just calmed down on the sing songy shit. A few new songs that weren’t already singles on here that I’ll repeat the rest i’ll drop.

  • 2012Industry1

    Y’all were being nice and didn’t want to be honest to a “high profile” MC…I mean rapper. This album is trash! Not because I think Kendrick and all the super lyrical MC’s are better, but because this is a bad mixtape level ALBUM. He’s the worse part of every song, the worse part of his album! Khaled’s albums are 10x’s better, and I despise that cat!

  • Jay DeLuca

    it”s a Nice album 1 4 the summer that lady”s & Gent”s can enjoy…ill cop it it”s wrth my $..Huh they askin bout me in the trap house…its murder she wrote…#23hoopdr3@mz

  • HipHopLover

    Don’t know what they talking about. This album is hard coming from French. And this review is trying to play French. His album is way better than their trying to give him credit for! Haters!

  • itsarap

    this is a typical review from someone who hasn’t listened to french montana for a very long time. he’s more lyrical than people give him credit for, but you can cherry pick and say he’s not “deep-thinking” if all you listen to is the singles like pop that or freaks. check coke wave and early coke boys/mac and cheese mixtapes and you’ll find that this isn’t “all you could really ask for.”

    • Ron “TrapStar” Burgundy

      Then why didn’t he deliver that “more lyrical than people give him credit for” on the album??? where’s your point!

      • Strong Island

        well bitch ^^^ how about you make an album

      • pryingeyes

        because he legit recorded it like last week on his last tour where a kid got murdered outside his bus he had a studio in the bus and he laid this down (besides the old ass singles he tossed on it)

  • http://www.audiomack.com/album/norvelmgmt/squared-up-religion-lp BonezThaBeast

    This remind me of when Benzino got five mics.

  • ka kid 1

    dude makes anthem music & he does it quite well like dude said earlier yea i ike this stuff when i wannna get stupid..lol fri night got paid throw this shit on when im gettin dressed in shit drikin a tall can homie in the corner rolling a fatty textin bitches 2 c what”s good..but 2 studdy leave on repeat 4 the whole month nope its not 4 that….

  • Junghova

    This album was trash. Aside from the opening track, the rest of the album was chalk full of weak ass raps, bad features (Rick Ross lookin at you brah) and just way too much repetition. I think French would have had better luck releasing this shit when he still had some buzz

    • John Smith

      word

  • http://twitter.com/DreDaDon_ Eddie Mars

    French Montana is trash 50 was right this bum can’t make a hit by himself Ross and Raekwon the only people who was decent on that album, he didn’t even used Harry Fraud on production just another swag club rapper eh very forgettable album

  • itmustbebobby

    French Montana is literally one of the worst rappers I’ve ever heard. Very disappointing to hear him defended like this on XXL. I’d give this an XS.

  • JohnPaul8732

    French debut album isn’t that bad. If your a hip-hop head thinking this was gonna be a lyrical album then your dead ass wrong. XXL gave it a L which it was about right. He was able to get sum of the hottest producer in the game (Jahlil Beats, Rico Love, Young Chop, & Mike Will) & sum top artist in the game (Wayne, Nicki, Drake, & Ross). French makes bangers, not hits. This album is structured like a Dj Khaled album, which I think French did a great job of. Also was glad to hear Scarface, Snoop (so so verse) & Raekwon on the album. In all the album is ignorant, but not as much as Chief Keef. French works his magic but you’ve gotta say, this is the best album ive heard from anybody in awhile…

  • http://twitter.com/DLloyd24 D-Lloyd

    THIS GARBAGE ASS FAGGOT SHOULD OF GOT AN “S”!!!!!!

  • FamOverEverything93

    With all this hype, all the features, all the co-sign calling it the best album of the decade…he didn’t sell more than 50 k. He sucks ass #excusemyflop

  • finisherz

    french said the best album in a long time,i never was a montana fan but a dude i know loves him so i told him the album was weak after i gave it a listen..this album should get a new size XXXS

  • Melo7

    Should’ve got XS!! This was thrash, french thrash!!

    50 said he couldn’t make a hit without a feature!! LOL And he wanted to come out same day as fif? C’mon now, fuk outta here!!