Summary

Having launched his Cocaine City cartel and then aligned it with Rick Ross' Maybach Music empire, Bronx rapper and hip-hop entrepreneur French Montana keeps building the co-branding with his official debut, which lands on Bad Boy with Interscope distribution. Don't forget that Akon's Konvict Music was also involved in the album's long road to release, and yet with this troubled birthing process, Excuse My French is something to be proud of, as scattershot and bloated as it is. On that latter count, the features are everywhere with everyone from Max B to the Weeknd crowding out the man whose name is on the cover. Still, when Birdman and Rick Ross show up for "Traphouse" it's a three boss meeting and certain highlight, while the goon posse cut "F**k What Happens Tonight" is a grand journey from the Bronx and Kingston with dancehall singer Mavado providing the hook as Snoop Dogg transitions to Snoop Lion right before your very ears (he's reggae friendly here, but hasn't said goodbye to the gun talk yet). Am Idol judge Nicki Minaj gets back to Cash Money business with her kinetic roar of a performance during the great "Freaks," and just to prove he's up to the solo cut, the album's greatest hook lands on "Ain't Worried About Nuthin'" where Montana nails it on his own. The rest of the album suffers from redundancy and some wasted opportunities with the guests, but Montana is a flossy tycoon first and a wordsmith second at this point, so his handing in a high-power mixtape instead of a focused debut is to be expected, and with a little bottle service, enjoyed. ~ David Jeffries