French Montana-Mac & Cheese 3 mixtape review
French Montana’s new mixtape Mac & Cheese 3 might be the most aptly named tape of the year. It’s cheap, digestible, and enjoyable even, but not at all your best food possibility (in a financial boon). Montana makes the best case for guilty pleasure an artist can throughout his 21 track opus. A lot of rap criticism doesn’t delineate between guilty pleasures and natural ones. Some of the favorable reviewers are calling Mac & Cheese 3 mumble-core which seems like a term invented to cover up for French’s poor lyricism and flow. I’m not sure that need exists; French seems completely at peace with his anti-lyrical stance.
Kid Cudi is a good comparison for French, both adore the hook of every song and stumble (when forced) to put verses together. For Cudi it’s become a fair sized monkey on his back but French seems either unaware or unconcerned. The phrase unaware or unconcerned could have been the subtitle to Mac & Cheese. The closest he comes to a complete thought is on the introduction when he says “Even your shadow gonna leave you when its dark N#$%a…(Intro).” Its not anything to build on, the next track is an ode to oral sex called Ocho Cinco saved only by the pure joy in his voice as he yells the chorus. On my favorite song of the mixtape French Montana gives you the head scratching template for his lyrical stance “Pray to god I never get deported, baby go and buss it open let me pay your mortgage (Water).”He never seems to have full thoughts and when he has an interesting one…like getting deported…he’s quick to jump out of it and back into something dumb. He doesn’t consider it a lost opportunity, he either thinks it’s funny or doesn’t think about it at all.
This unaware or unconcerned stance means the rules of rap don’t apply to him. When he does a hip hop/reggae track (Last of the Real) it’s not really a risk. What could go wrong? You still get a silly hook and a fun beat, who cares? You can’t kill French on a track the same way you can’t get roaches out of your place. Anyone can guest: Red Café, Trina, J. Cole, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Action Bronson, Diddy, Prodigy, and it doesn’t matter. They float on the track they guest in this anti-gravity universe of Harry Fraud and Young Chop beats and hooks sometimes borrowed from Billy Joel or Weeknd songs, sometimes his own. He’s shamelessly melodic especially on a song like Devil Want My Soul which is far less about the evils of the world and far more about following Chop’s trap 2 step.
It has some groupings of people you would never put together like on No Sunshine when we get a line up of French, Prodigy, and Chinx Drugz. For anyone not familiar with Mr. Drugz he is a less satisfying dipset style goon rapper , especially unsatisfying in verse on Yayo a track largely dominated and made great by Future. He actually drops the line “Ball until I got bad knees, she suck until she got strep throat (Chinx Drugz on Yayo).”
Most mixtapes tell a story, over the 14-22 tracks most tapes let you learn about your narrator. They open doors to different rooms of discussion they cover emotionally; it’s what makes hip hop such a special genre. You get a lot of time to talk to your audience, and develop yourself. Overtop of the Bad Boy records gloss and terrible skits; French Montana is never anything other than silly. It’s what I come away with every time I listen. So why do I listen? Same reason I love movies like The Rocketeer or The Phantom with Billy Zane. Sometimes the movies that rotten tomatoes tells you not to watch are too special to be bad, those are guilty pleasures. Mac & Cheese 3 is like that.
You can stream or download Mac & Cheese 3 below