By Rikki Schneiderman
Hip-hop up-and-comer French Montana didn’t dazzle — or even show up on time — when he performed in Goldstein Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 7.
Check out our photo gallery from the show.
French Montana, an up-and-coming rapper signed to Bad Boy/Interscope Records, was scheduled Friday night, Dec. 7, to perform at Goldstein Auditorium in a show organized by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Montana’s opening act, female hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea, was slated to go on at 8 p.m. Montana’s designated set was 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Unfortunately for those in attendance in Schine Student Center, it seemed the artists interpreted those times as only the vaguest of guidelines.
First off, Azalea canceled the show that morning due to sickness; her agents wouldn’t let her on a plane. The Alphas scrambled for a replacement, and one of their own brothers ended up taking the stage at around 7:45 p.m. Thankfully, the amateur rapper proved to have some skills and he put on a good show. The high-energy crowd in the packed auditorium accepted him with cheers and hollers. But half an hour later the stage was empty again, the headlining act missing in action.
Montana wouldn’t arrive until 9:45. The frat brothers improvised with dancing contests, a synchronized group dance, and a reel of popular hip-hop songs. But after a time, the music began to repeat itself, the dance moves stopped, and the crowd started to grow impatient.
Then, at 9:40, the auditorium lights dimmed, and the emcee yelled to the crowd: “If you’re ready for French Montana, let me hear you!” And as if a light switch had been flicked, the energy returned. But if a figurative switch had been flicked, a literal one wasn’t — the lights stayed dim for another 25 minutes.
French Montana took the stage over an hour late, but it didn’t seem to matter to the audience. Montana’s multi-person posse preceded him on stage, and then French himself appeared with a microphone. Opening with “Mula,” a track by Big Sean in which he’s featured, Montana rolled slowly into an hour-long set where each song lasted hardly a minute. The only tracks he stretched out to full length were “Pop That,” his biggest hit, and “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” by rapper Juicy J.
To his credit, Montana is largely a featured artist on songs. He has few successful singles of his own. What’s unfortunate is he shortened “Shot Caller,” his breakout hit, even though it got the best immediate reaction from the audience.
Though Montana slugged through each song with the same monotone voice he displays on his recordings, he did interact with the crowd fairly well. He began each song with a call-and-response routine with the audience. However, this didn’t make up for his untimeliness or his lack of originality, making little effort to make his concert experience special.