French Montana, "Excuse My French" (Bad Boy/Maybach Music/Interscope Records)
On his debut album, "Excuse My French," French Montana lives up to the hype mostly generated by his mentors Diddy and Rick Ross, who executive-produced his project.
The Moroccan-born, Bronx, N.Y.-raised rapper isn't much of a lyricist, but Montana has a way of appropriately delivering simple words with a calm bravado and then inserting his infectious ad-lib, the word "haan," at the perfect time. His cool rap persona matches well with a selection of superb beats, making his album an enjoyable listen.
Montana also benefits from a number of guest appearances on his debut, which includes Drake, The Weeknd, Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo and 2 Chainz.
Much of the album is filled with hard-thumping, high-energy songs that are catchy, such as the hit single "Pop That" and "Ain't Worried About Nothin'," which was produced by 19-year-old Young Chop. "(Expletive) What Happens Tonight," which features DJ Khaled, Mavado, Ace Hood, Snoop Dogg and Scarface, carries a violent lyrical tone, but is one of the album's best songs. And The Weeknd's signature falsetto makes "Gifted" a solid track.
While Montana shines on most of "Excuse My French," there are some misses, including "Paranoid," ''When I Want" and the Nicki Minaj-assisted single "Freaks," which horribly samples from the classic radio jams "Murder She Wrote" by Chaka Demus & Pliers and "Freaks" by Lil Vicious.
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