Release Date: Nov 5, 2016
Record label: Epic
Exactly halfway through MC4, “Lockjaw” hits, and you start to think of French Montana as a rap star. Kodak Black, the preternaturally talented teenager from South Florida, does lots of the heavy lifting, but the song is too potent to simply be the product of good A&R work, or lucky proximity. In just over a decade of work, French has gone from hanger-on to something more vital and far more interesting; on this February’s superb Wave Gods, he reimagined the world at large as an extension of his knottiest late-‘00s mixtapes.
When Target mistakenly stocked the shelves with French Montana’s MC4 nearly two months ahead of its October 14, 2016 release date, the fourth installment of the Mac & Cheese series leaked faster than a 5-year-old at a haunted house, squashing any possibility of keeping it tightly under wraps. Unfortunately for Montana and camp, that’s often the nature of the beast. As rumors swirl around the recent dispute between Joe Budden and Drake, MC4 couldn’t have surfaced at a better time.
“Thinkin’ I’ma fall off/ What you smokin’?” French Montana raps on “Play Yaself”, a song on his long-awaited album-turned-mixtape MC4. French is still here, still very much “A Thing,” yet that is now a little surprising. The Bronx rapper has a handful of major commercial hits, but only one of them (“Ain’t Worried About Nothin’”) features French and French alone.
This probably wasn’t the rollout French Montana was hoping for with MC4, a sophomore album that would confirm his hit-making abilities to the rap game and beyond. Short for Mac & Cheese 4, the rapper was hoping to follow up his acclaimed Mac & Cheese mixtape series by making the fourth installment an actual album. However, since the project was announced back in 2013, its release has essentially been cursed.