The first half of 2017 has been a monstrous one for hip-hop and r&b, but the second half of the year has barely begun and is has already presented its own share of landmark releases. The latest domino to fall is Jungle Rules, French Montana's long-awaited sophomore album that coincides with him reaching the peak of his popularity, as he continues to exceed expectations by maintaining a viable career as one of New York City's biggest rap stars.
His first release since his unleashing his debut album, Excuse My French, in 2013, Jungle Rules showcases the Coke Boy growth as a songwriter and curator, as he has evolved from catchy street and strip club anthems to crossover smashes that reside near the highest reaches of the Billboard chart. Coming after a string of mixtape releases from himself and his Coke Boys outfits, Jungle Rules may be a bit bloated, clocking in at eighteen tracks and running over an hour in length, but French Montana does a great job at maintaining quality control, doling out a murderers rows of club bangers mixed in with more melodic numbers.
One of the more connected artists in all of rap, French Montana makes good use of his connections to rap's elite, calling in the likes of Future, Travis Scott, The Weeknd, Young Thug, Pharrell Williams, Quavo, T.I., Swae Lee, Marc E. Bassy, Chinx and Max B to ride shotgun alongside him throughout the album, making it yet another star studded release to touch down in 2017.
Having given Jungle Rules a proper listen and sifting through the tracks, here are five of the best songs from the album.
Among the many deep cuts included on Jungle Rules, one of the more potent offerings is "Too Much," which finds French Montana flying solo with effective results. Going in over a boisterous backdrop courtesy of producer Alex Lustig, French Montana puts forth one of his more impressive lyrical performances of the eighteen songs on the album that makes for another highlight from the expansive long player.
"Jump"French Montana featuring Travi$ Scott
No major rap release in 2017 is complete without a guest spot from Travi$ Scott, who pops up on the Jungle Rules heater "Jump," a brooding ditty tailor-made for a woozy night of turning up. Produced by Nova, who provides thunderous drum kicks and crisp snares, cooks up a soundscape over which Travi$ takes center stage, with French taking a more limited role on this outing.
"A Lie"French Montana featuring The Weekend & Max B
French Montana's loyalty cannot be questioned, as he continues to keep his incarcerated friend Max B's voice and name in this mix, the latest instance being the Jungle Rules standout "A Lie." Featuring a guest appearance from The Weeknd, who flexes with a few boastful couplets of his own, "A Lie" finds French and Max colliding once again on another track from his sophomore effort that has the makings of a summer smash.
"Unforgettable"French Montana featuring Swae Lee
"Unforgettable," the lead-single from French Montana's sophomore effort, doubles as one of the hottest songs of the summer, thus far. Hooking up with Rae Sremmurd member Swae Lee, who contributes a harmonious hook that anchors the song, French Montana scores his biggest hit to date, making "Unforgettable" one of the key selections on Jungle Rules.
"Bring Dem Things"French Montana featuring Pharrell
"Unforgettable" will likely be the most successful single released from Jungle Rules in terms of metrics, but the song that is sure to shake the concrete from the LP is the Pharrell assisted "Bring Dem Things," the finest moment on French's latest. Longtime collaborator Harry Fraud crafts a festive soundscape, employing a plethora of samples for this horn heavy composition that stands a cut above the rest on the album.