French Montana Feat. Rick Ross, Drake & Lil Wayne – Pop That
In a genre that prides itself on tales of hard knock lives, French Montana still stands out. Though he was raised in the Bronx, he began his life on the mean streets of Rabat in Morocco, where he dreamed of emulating his idol Tupac Shakur. Things didn’t get much easier once the family moved Stateside. Abandoned by his father he became the de facto man of the house, helping to support his mother as she raised him and his two brothers.
This work ethic transferred over into his music. He set up his own record label and produced a series of DVDs that showcased up and coming talent. He also bashed out a clutch of mixtapes and developed as a rapper in his own right. Eventually the hard work paid off. He signed a deal with Diddy’s Bad Boy Records and Rick Ross’s Maybach Records and will unleash his debut album ‘Excuse My French’ later this year.
On the evidence of ‘Pop That’, Montana has adapted pretty well to life in the US. He’s celebrating the hip-hop lifestyle of Bugattis, bling and babes with the enthusiasm of a native. Built around a sample from veteran outrage generators 2 Live Crew’s ‘Pop That Pussy’, the track is certainly something you wouldn’t want to listen to with your grandma. But as an exercise in R-rated party-bouncing wish fulfilment, it’s pretty hard to beat. In any case, Montana isn’t trying to be the most cerebral MC in the game, he’s going for the heart rather than the head.
“How I judge a rapper is – Can you make me feel something?” he told Stupid Dope. “Can I feel like I went through what you went through? Can you give me goosebumps when I hear your music? That’s my thing. It’s not about how many syllables and synonyms you can say, or how you can write alphabetical backwards and it means sun versus the moon or shit like that. I mean, that’s cool and I’m going to think you’re clever, but I’m not going to relate to you. 2Pac wasn’t really lyrical, he just connected with people. He said some shit that you’ll just be like ‘wow’. And that’s how I judge my music.”