Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

French Montana ft. Drake – No Stylist

Everybody says you’re looking pretty coolist…


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Maxwell Cavaseno: As a bastion of ’00s NYC hardnose rap, French Montana is one of the few after 50 Cent who makes music that still holds up (anyone who scoffs, go bump “I’m So Special” or “So High” or anything off Coke Wave). He’s managed to break out of the city’s 21st-century malaise because of an ability to warp current trends of rap into a Party Jam version of themselves. Armed with a particularly inspired Drakk verse and an overly ornamental sample from London On Tha Track, “No Stylist” defies the uncanny valley-ishness of French’s “just bizarre” autotuned falsetto by being such a peacockish kind of swag rap for the modern climate. The glamour here actually glistens, rather than douses and bathes, and stays at the right tempo to keep you moving and avoid plummeting into its own navel-gazing.
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Taylor Alatorre: With a beguiling mix of booming Atlanta trap and ’90s boom bap mannerisms (that “Long Red” sample will echo to the ends of the universe), it can’t be said that London on da Track didn’t give these two something to work with. But French Montana makes himself feel inessential on his own song by subordinating lyricism to Auto-Tuned phrasing, and then making a mess of the phrasing as well. Drake, the supposed scene stealer, turns in a verse whose mild attempt at shade is the only notable thing about it, aside from the unintentional punchline of “I need action, that’s a fact.”
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Tobi Tella: If a mediocre Drake feature falls into a forgettable French Montana song, does it even make a sound?
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Julian Axelrod: French Montana has usurped Drake as rap’s most chameleonic and symbiotic figure, acquitting himself equally well alongside and Meghan Trainor. So when you throw them on a track together, somehow Drake becomes the blueprint and French the imitator. It’s not the most natural fit — even an Auto-Tuned Montana barely scrapes Drake’s natural register, and the pregnant pause in “Bad bitches getting wet…… here” is one of the sweatiest moments in a sweaty career. But the one thing they have in common is their impeccable taste, and the shimmering string backdrop is so sumptuous you can practically feel the high thread count. It’s enough to elevate French Montana’s throat-clearing and send Drake’s bitter barrage into the stratosphere.
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Alfred Soto: French Montana’s flow is awkward enough (those end stresses, ugh) to make Drake sound like Rakim, while the combination of trap beats and catalog of opulence could’ve come from Chief Keef or somebody in 2012.
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Ian Mathers: Guess I’ll split my mark between the one I’d give that little falsetto lift during “iced out, no stylist” and the one I’d give to the verses. Maybe araabMUZIK could do something really good with the former?
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