photocred: hypebeast

“Wave Gods”, the first mixtape from rapper French Montana since the passing of friend and artist of his Coke Boyz imprint Chinx in May of last year, is a big step in the right direction for the Bad Boy artist. While the Morocco born Montana has never been one of the most versed MCs lyrically, it’s his capacity to make club bangers and support from big name features that makes this one of his best releases yet.

Montana taps legendary rapper Max B, originator of the term wavy as a part of hip-hop culture (hence the tape’s name) to host this tape while serving a 75 year sentence on conspiracy charges. The two have a history together dating back to the late 2000’s, collaborating on the Coke Wave mixtape series back in 2009. Montana rides a new wave pertaining to his perspective on life after the loss of his close friend. The tape opens up with the track “Wave Gods Intro”, which begins with a phone conversation with Max B explaining how back in his day rapping was about fun rather than money, that his crew bonded through the music and spoke about their lives, and how it doesn’t seem like artists only do it for the pure fun anymore. Little phone snippets from Max are scattered throughout the tape to emphasize the underlying theme of waviness.

While the only 2 tracks where Montana is on his own are still hard hitting, it’s the star studded feature tracks that really shine. After the short Max B intro, French spits a short verse followed by an outro chorus sung by Chris Brown. On the track “Miley Cyrus”, Atlanta rapper Future comes in hot spitting his usual entertaining lyrics, like the line “I let them goons drive the Lambo, got 20 choppers like I’m Rambo.” The soulful “Figure It Out” is easily one of the best on the tape, with solid support from hip hop legends Kanye West and Nas, and “Man of My City” with Travis Scott and Big Sean is a straight up banger that will definitely be lighting up clubs all over the country in no time. Canadian rapper Belly and one third of rap trio Migos Quavo also make appearances on tracks. The sleeper hit of this tape is “Lock Jaw”, which features up and coming Florida rapper Kodak Black, who’s currently making a name for himself off of his song “SKRT”.
“Lock Jaw” showcases both rappers, with Kodak coming in with the first chorus(“Got the big 40 on me so my pants keep fallin’”) and first verse, and him and Montana having a sort of back and forth throughout the song. Bad Boy label head P. Diddy, going by Puff Daddy on the tape, brings some words of wisdom about coming back into the game on the Puff interlude and holds a solid verse on the track “Old Man Wildin'”. Montana also pays homage to his lost friend on “All Over” which even features Chinx, who’s also featured on the final track, a remix of French’s “Off the Rip”, which also features A$AP Rocky and N.O.R.E.

All in all, this is some of Montana’s best work yet. If this is any indication of the direction he’s going take on his next album “Mac and Cheese 4”, the hype is real. What Montana lacks in raw lyricism, he makes up for in presence and hard hitting tracks and features. The crazy support adds to the power this tape already has, and there’s not really any bad tracks. The only thing that could add to this would be better lines from Montana, but nothing really gets taken away from its overall effect. This tape shows that French Montana is truly the Wave God.

Final Verdict: 6.5/10

You can download the tape HERECheck out the track, “Lockjaw” below!