13 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With just a glance, it’s evident that French Montana’s ascent came through a set of mixtapes set ablaze with high-caliber collaborations. The heavy-hitting cameos on his 19-track debut, Excuse My French, reads like a contemporary hip-hop impresario’s speed dial. Just how heavy? Listen for Diddy, Rick Ross, Drake, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Lion, Lil Wayne, and 2 Chainz—to name a few. But despite all these famous voices, the most exciting one might belong to French Montana himself; he alternates between quick-witted wordplay and sing-song verses that proudly confess his vices. This Editors’ Choice is packed with flashes of brilliance, but it’s hard to top the slow grind of “Paranoid” (feat. C.A.S.H.), or the full-on raunch Nicki Minaj brings to “Freaks.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

With just a glance, it’s evident that French Montana’s ascent came through a set of mixtapes set ablaze with high-caliber collaborations. The heavy-hitting cameos on his 19-track debut, Excuse My French, reads like a contemporary hip-hop impresario’s speed dial. Just how heavy? Listen for Diddy, Rick Ross, Drake, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Lion, Lil Wayne, and 2 Chainz—to name a few. But despite all these famous voices, the most exciting one might belong to French Montana himself; he alternates between quick-witted wordplay and sing-song verses that proudly confess his vices. This Editors’ Choice is packed with flashes of brilliance, but it’s hard to top the slow grind of “Paranoid” (feat. C.A.S.H.), or the full-on raunch Nicki Minaj brings to “Freaks.”

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About French Montana

A rapper who built an indie empire with his Cocaine City imprint, French Montana was born Karim Kharbouch in Morocco but immigrated to the U.S. while in his teens. He set up shop in the Bronx and began releasing his Cocaine City series of DVDs in 2002, mixing interviews with established hip-hop artists and unsigned talent. Around 2009 he began releasing his own mixtape CDs with DJs like DJ Drama, Evil Empire, and Big Mike as his hosts. That same year he would be signed to Akon's Konvict Musik label, but in late 2011 it was announced that they had parted ways and that French was signing to both P. Diddy's Bad Boy and Rick Ross' Maybach Music imprints in a unique joint venture. His 2012 single, "Pop That," would be the first release for the united labels, while 2013 saw the release of his debut album, Excuse My French. A series of mixtapes, each with an increasing R&B influence, brought Montana to 2016, when he dropped Casino Life 2: Brown Bag Legend. The mixtape included the hit single "Moses" featuring Chris Brown and Migos. A full LP -- MC4 -- was slated for the end of the year, but after the album was leaked by a retailer months before its official release, Montana scrapped the rollout entirely. MC4 (aka "Mac & Cheese 4") featured appearances by the Weeknd, Drake, Jeezy, A$AP Rocky, Kodak Black, Miguel, Nas, Kanye West, DJ Khaled, Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss, Styles P, the Alchemist, Max B, and Chinx. ~ David Jeffries

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