The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
French Montana Pops It With The Best
Now officially aligned with Diddy and Rick Ross, French Montana must believe in the motto that teamwork makes the dream work. It certainly helps when you’re playing with the biggest players in the game. With his energetic new single “Pop That” Montana teams with Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne for an ode to sex and balling, with every rapper delivering noteworthy lines.
The high-octane beat gets a boost from an Uncle Luke sample in the chorus, making "Pop That" a rare song that clocks in at more than five minutes but doesn’t feel too long. After grinding on the mixtape scene for several years and collaborating with Waka Flocka Flame, MMG, Pusha T and others, Montana is prepping for the release of his debut studio album, “Excuse My French,” later this year.
Driicky Graham Starts With A Hit
Going on the road with a music industry boss like Def Jam executive No I.D. (Jay-Z, Big Sean, Common) has several benefits. For Driicky Graham, it allowed him to meet Young Berg. Berg then co-produced the North Carolina-by-way-of-New Jersey rapper’s smash “Snapbacks & Tattoos” single, which has more than 1.8 million YouTube views.
Driicky Graham, who subsequently signed with eOne Music, has just dropped a new mixtape, backed by DJ Ill Will-backed. “Ya Gotta Start Somehwere” is a 15-cut collection that features a reworking of Don Trip’s “Letter To My Son” and the block-rocking “Dial Tone,” which documents Graham’s willingness to hang up on annoying people. With interesting concepts and high-quality production, Driicky Graham is off to a good start.
Gensu Dean Drops Deadly Beats
Beats are the backbone of rap. Several artists, most notably 50 Cent, have jacked popular tracks, reworked songs and become superstars. Producer Gensu Dean gives aspiring rappers and production fiends alike a head start with “Lo-Fi Fingahz Instrumentals," the instrumental version of his “Lo-Fi Fingahz” album, which featured vocals from Large Professor, among others.
The Dallas-based producer’s sound is decidedly boom-bap, with samples, scratches and crisp drums serving as the backbone for “It’s Just Him,” while the funky guitar lick and brassy horns in the chorus make “Block Prenup” sound as though it was reworked from rap’s Golden Era. Gensu Dean has stellar production, the type of beats that help launch careers.