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French Montana’s Wave Gods trend sets the wave

New album pays homage to former mentor Max B

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Album: Wave Gods

Artist: French Montana

Release Date: Feb. 19

Label: Coke Boy Records

Grade: B+

French Montana’s latest mixtape Wave Gods is a classic banger paying homage to his former mentor and the wave-god himself, Max B.

Montana’s mixtape, which was released Feb 19, is also hosted by Max B and includes commentary from the former rapper while he serves a 75-year prison sentence in a New Jersey correctional facility. Max B was convicted of aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, kidnapping and murder in 2009.

The “Wave Gods Intro” serves as a reflective conversation amongst friends discussing the love they have for creating hip-hop music.

French Montana introduces Wave Gods with narration from the incarcerated rapper reminiscing on their good times of making music together – or musical “history,” as Max B says – on song six of the mixtape, entitled, “Max B. Drop (Interlude).”

The mixtape features 14 tracks of quality music, including features from Big Sean, Future, Jadakiss, Kanye West, Nas, Sean “Puffy” Combs and Travis Scott, among other underground hip-hop artists.

The third song on the album is “Sanctuary Part II” which French Montana provides audiences with the refreshing, angelic serenades of himself, aligned with the chorus, making the track a peaceful melody listeners can vibe with.

The fourth track off the mixtape “Figure It Out” features rap greats, Kanye West and Nas and includes West autotuned on the chorus reflecting on the strange way life has panned out, repeating, “I can’t figure it out, I can’t lie to you.” He expresses confusion over unexplainable events that occur in life.

The fifth tune on Wave Gods, “Man of My City,” features Big Sean and newcomer to the hip-hop industry, Travis Scott. The song includes the catchy hook of Travis Scott rapping, “B*tch, I’m the man of my city.”

The trio’s collaboration on the song serves as a banger that’s guaranteed to be an instant hit.

There are several tracks on the mixtape include the intimate phone conversations between French Montana and Max B.

During these interludes, Max B expresses his love for crafting music that’s not only creative and meaningful, but also relatable to real life struggles. French Montana’s brotherly adoration for Max B shows the homage French Montana, as his comrade, has paid to the founder of the “wave.”

The ninth song on the mixtape is called “Jackson 5” and includes another phone conversation between the duo – Max B encouraging French Montana to “keep up the good work” of providing listeners with quality rap music while keeping the “wave” alive.

The tune then transitions to underground rap artist Belly, as well as the falsetto-processed vocals of Michael Jackson in The Jackson 5’s 1969 smash hit “Who’s Lovin’ You.”

The final track on Wave Gods is the song, “Off the Rip (Remix),” which includes Montana’s former friend and business partner, the late Chinx Drugz on the chorus, as well as ’90s hip-hop icon N.O.R.E. – the remix adds A$AP Rocky to the well-certified 2015 summer anthem.

The song signifies how impactful Chinx’s death was on Montana – being dismayed after hearing the news that his longtime friend was gunned down while being stopped at a red light in Chinx hometown of Queens, New York.

Wave Gods serves as rap-certified mixtape because of its outline of showing Montana’s process of crafting epic music, while dealing with the tough tribulations of losing people close to him.

French Montana’s realness of not forgetting where he comes from and those that have influenced him shows his humbleness for music industry, as well as his New York roots of “keeping the wave up and alive” echo in this album.

Darlene Brumfield is a contributing writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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