Haan Rating

French's biggest power move had to be his strategic alignment with Max B. After Max's relationship with Jim Jones became acrimonious, Max grabbed French as a partner in crime and began releasing a stretch of incredible mixtapes. Perhaps none was as fully-realized as 2008's Coke Wave. The tape is largely defined by Max's personality, musical tastes, and abilities, while French is very much in his shadow. But one can easily see how Max had created a formula (the wave, if you will) for French's own musical approach going forward.

New tracks, like the grunge-y helium anthem "Stake Sause," rubbed up against remixes. As 50 Cent had done, Max used his own melodic gifts to create new versions of classic instrumentals, but filtered through his own gritty performance style.

In an innovative move, he adapted West Coast and non-hip-hop instrumentals and molded them for his own purposes. 2Pac's "Can't C Me" became "Smoking," Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" became "I Warned You," and so on. But one of French's best moments was his hook for "NY" with Dame Grease, which hilariously interpolated Sting's "Englishman In New York" and filtered it through a hazy cloud of Newport smoke.