French Montana’s newest album is more than a resurgence, its a rekindling.
French Montana has been the butt of many jokes for years despite having giving so much to music and creating various trends. While this album’s title directly references that, he goes above and beyond on this one to prove his point. While Montana’s previous two solo outputs have been extremely disappointing, Jungle Rules is him in a more pop direction that doesn’t pan out well and MONTANA comes off as a stream troll with its usage of years old songs, the first track on They Got Amnesia throws any of the gimmicks out the window. The album starts with “ICU” which is a skit that picks up off of his heart attack in 2019, and goes directly into “How You King?” This song is a hell of a way to start an album, it comes off as a song that wouldn’t be out of place on his early material.
On this song, he goes over a boom bap beat with the lush horns that his early music would use so well. The song asks the question of what makes the legends the legends they are. Is it measured by the hits? The length of their careers? Is it the sales? Paired with a beautifully delivered hook, French proves that he’s not here to play around and wants answers as to why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves.
From here the album goes into the the two singles. “FWMGAB” is still a strong hit that he gets to flex his hitmaking skills on. From there it goes to “I Don’t Really Care,” which is still not that good a song but admittedly fits better in context of the album. “Touch the Sky” gives him a gorgeous John Legend hook. On this one he shows off the lavish lifestyle he’s earned himself and is topped off with a smooth Rick Ross verse.
We get back into French’s hitmaking abilities on “Mopstick.” While it was originally titled “Lockjaw Pt. 2” and this new one doesn’t hold up to its original, its still a hit. Kodak seems to be effortless in his hook-making abilities and his chemistry with French is immaculate. Verses of trading bars can be awkward, see the Kanye & 6ix9ine song, but in this case it works for the better.
From here it goes to “Stuck in the Jungle,” which is one of many of the most grandiose produced songs on the album. Lil Durk flies in with one of the hardest hitting verses on the album and Pop Smoke delivers a buttery smooth hook. French’s verse is a call back to Biggie’s “Notorious Thugs” in an enjoyable homage, the anti-thesis to what he did on the “East Coast Remix.” In his verse he’s looked at everything that’s happened to him and the people around him, and gives himself a mission for greater things.
“Handstand” is a fun song that really dips into the pre-established chemistry of Saweetie & Doja Cat. They are a proven duo that French joins in a fun hit. “Panicking” is another single from the album that has a slightly disappointing French verse compared to what he did on CJ’s “Whoopty,” but the Fivio verse is unbelievable and adds to his great run of features. Hopefully we see what French can do with other NY drill artists in the future.
“Didn’t Get Far” is by far the most luxuriously produced song on the album. The production feels like something off of Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or Usher’s Confessions. He links with Fabolous on the song to bring an extremely New York feeling track. “The Paper” is finally a solo French track and he delivers a verse that feels like rekindling of his fire over a Pop Smoke sample, with Diddy’s classic ad-libs in the background.
He follows this up with “Tonight,” another solo track that shows him finally linking back up with Harry Fraud. This is another similar concept to the “The Paper,” but it works in that this album is a constant proving ground, something he fully delivers on. He continues this theme on “Business.” The three track run would’ve been a classic EP but, just like when he did The Appetizer with Harry Fraud, it would’ve flown completely under the radar.
From here he goes on a four track run of feature heavy hits. The Coi Leray & 42 Dugg song is interesting, Coi Leray delivers a different vocal delivery than usual and 42 Dugg has possibly a more explicit verse on than the Saweetie & Doja Cat song. His chemistry with the women on the tracks is quite fun, “Striptease” with Latto is another highlight. “The Bag” is a money-getting anthem that features Lil Tjay’s hook not being the usually grating sound he usually does. “Fraud” is a solo track but doesn’t focus on his struggle but more on his trapping lifestyle.
This brings to the final two tracks, “Appreciate Everything” and “Losing Weight.” “Appreciate Everything” feels more in-line with “FWMGAB” but also shows off how he feels like he shouldn’t forget where he comes from. “Losing Weight” is the most low-key and a reflective French Montana, more so than other tracks. He goes into detail on what he had to do to get to his spot along with the sacrifices he made. This ends with a Max B phone call, someone he built his career with and is now facing multiple years in prison (originally sentenced to 75 years). Despite Max B being in prison since 2009, its amazing to hear his love for his friend over a jail phone after over 12 years of prison time.
The album is more than a return to form for French Montana, who has seemingly just been coasting off of features and a basic mainstream sound for years now. Its a rekindling, a new fire has been lit underneath him. While not every bar on here is incredible, for example he uses the very weak bar “Had the wave before Tidal” twice on separate tracks, his lyrical ability is much better than his last couple of years of output. In fact its more reminiscent of his early career. While he may be past his prime, it looks like he may be entering a late career renaissance. Skipping on this release would be a major mistake.