Considering the months-long reign that French Montana‘s A-lister-slathered and Uncle Luke sample-highlighted “Pop That” had as the “ratchet jam of the moment” last year, it was a bit of a dome scratcher how the Bronx emcee never quite managed to pump out debut album Excuse My French while the breakout record was peaking. And now, with the album pushed back for a May (!!) release, it has put Montana in a situation to try to push out another banger on the same level as, or even bigger than, “Pop That” to stir some of that momentum back up.
Does he achieve that with newest drop “Freaks”? Kinda sorta.
Like “Pop That”, the Rico Love-produced “Freaks” works not so much from the work of Montana himself, but mostly by everything happening around him; in this case, the smart coupling of yet another attention-grabbing guest feature (Nicki Minaj) and some surefire ’90’s throwback references (it samples L’il Vicious & Doug E. Fresh’s “Freaks” and the Chaka Demus & Pliers reggae/ dancehall staple “Murder She Wrote”) mixed with mindlessly dumb-fun subject matter aimed to make you go insane on the dance floor and make your grandparents blush.
No question it’s a silly one, but it’s also a capital-b banger, evoking nostalgia for that old-school Hot 97 summer jam feel in a bulletproof combination of beat and Minaj–doing her damnedest to wipe away the meh-ness of all that dance-pop with a return to her wacky, straight hip hop strengths–that from second one invites into mental view the future thrills to be had in the forthcoming triple-degree weather season.
Would have been a smash no matter the lead artist; French should just feel lucky he gets to call it his.