Editor's Note: Good googly moogly! 2012 was a year for the books - one that saw Beefs & Battles return heavy to rap, the momentous results of a sputtering Presidential Election, a monstrous East Coast storm, and two of the year's best rap albums from artists nearly 20 years apart in age. (Oh, and a possible end to life as we know it on December 21, according to the Mayan calendar!) Stick around for the entire month of December for AHH's 2012 Year End recap...
First up is "Illseed's Person of the Year: French Montana!":
There are the Olympics and there are the Special Olympics.
Right, now French Montana is playing in the Olympics of Hip-Hop, but that wasn't always the case. In fact, when I first noticed him, he was sort of like a retarded child running with a Usain Bolt. But, in this case, he's winning.
How can this be for somebody so marginal lyrically?
The answer to this question lies in the answer to why he is the 2012 Illseed Person Of The Year!
So, is French Montana really mentally handicapped? No.
Is he the best lyricist? No.
Should Kendrick Lamar be the Person of the Year based on all other criteria? Certainly.
This is MY award, and it has never been one to follow convention. Past winners include Will Smith, MC Hammer, Nobody, Rick Ross, and even Kreayshawn. Now, I have to say, French is now my favorite rapper, and clearly he is the favorite of others in the game. These days, he's working with everybody. But did I love his music all the time? No. When he did the BET Cypher a few years ago, I couldn't believe…what I heard.
I don't see the video on YouTube, but I was not impressed. In fact, based on his cypher, I decided to start rapping. Not a good idea. I'm no French Montana with the bars.
But more significant these days than lyrics and one-liners...is swagger.
French has a lot of that. Where he may lack in lyrical intensity, he makes up in other ways. He's pretty funny. I am not totally sure why he is funny, but he is. When she drops lyrics, it's pretty effortless. And then there are those ad libs like "AHHHHH," which actually sound like a Down's Syndrome version of the Ying Yang Twins ad libs. But, I digress. Somehow, when French does it, it just comes out dope. Perhaps is that street allure that he has based on his early days as a Coke Boy? I don't know.
And dude knows how to garner attention. Remember this?
How can a dude daring enough to wear a bear head hat lose? That's it. They don't lose!
And this is why French Montana won this distinguished honor over other contenders like…I don't know. This year there were no real runner-ups. French was the only one that was in the running for this one. And that goes back to where it all started - the rat race of rap.
This game ain't for everybody. There have been plenty dope MCs that couldn't keep the attention of the masses. Personally, I blame Canibus for dropping that ball, but that's another story. French Montana may not be a lyrical messiah. In fact, he may just be that handicapped runner that somehow managed to run the race of that the champions run.
With no album, it's hard to be sure that he's going to cross the finish line. But, right now, I am confident that he's in the race and he's nipping on Usain's heels.
Usain's ankle is broken, by the way.
And he's also got a migraine headache.
And French is right there, running with him…stride for stride.
ILLSEED'S FOOTNOTE: Oh yeah. Illseed's 2012 Person of the Year, French Montana, is now rumored to be dating Trina. Yes, that one. The Baddest B*tch. Enough said.