French Montana Addresses Album Sales Debate on 'Mac & Cheese 5': ‘Most of My Plaques, I'm The Feature’

French has been fielding criticisms that his album sales are due to his guest features for years.

(Photo by Phillip Faraone / Getty Images for GQ)

French Montana has been fielding criticisms over his album sales for years now, and on his new project, Mac & Cheese 5, he's addressing all his detractors.

The Coke Boys leader has made a name for himself in the music industry, starting with his infamous Cocaine City DVD series that flooded the New York hip-hop scene in the early 2000s. He then embarked on an incredible mixtape run that saw him release 26 projects in 17 years and included fan-favorite series such as Mac & CheeseCoke Boys, and Casino Life

When it came to his mainstream releases, French sold over 2.6 million albums worldwide, released several Billboard charting singles and three out of four RIAA-certified albums. He's also the most streamed African-born musical artist, and has several multiplatinum plaques, including a diamond record with "Unforgettable" featuring Swae Lee. French even wanted to go toe-to-toe with Kendrick Lamar in a Verzuz battle in 2020, which fans ridiculed.

Despite all those accolades, people still downplay his success in the music industry. The criticisms towards French's music sales come from several places, such as when internet sleuths alleged his 2020 single "Writing on the Wall" featuring Post Malone, Cardi B, and Rvssian received a huge boost from fake Spotify streams. There's also the fact that most of his highest-charting singles have big-name features from Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross. 

Over the years, people have claimed French's success has been tied to the features he acquired, especially since "Ain't Worried About Nothin" is his only solo single that charted in the Top 75 of the Billboard Hot 100. On his new album Mac & Cheese 5, French held nothing back and finally addressed the critics in grand fashion. 

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The intro, titled "Dirty Bronx," has the New York native directly responding to people who claimed his peers are responsible for his success: "Yeah, you sold a hundred million, but they all features/Never that, most of my plaques, I'm the feature/Niggas barely go gold, I had to dominate/I'm the most streamed artist out my whole continent (Cap)."

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On "Splash Brothers," French boldly claims that he held New York City down when Jay-Z "took a break" from the industry. The mention seemingly references the time in the mid-2000s when Hov served as president and chief executive officer of Def Jam Recordings and French was just hitting his stride in the mixtape market.

"When Hov took a break, I had the city for a decade (Argh)/Culture top three, we done started up the wave (Wave)/You only get your flowers when I put 'em on your grave (Put 'em on your grave)/N***as stay schemin', but they ain't ready to pop that (Pop that)/Coke Boys move keys, where the locks at? (Coke Boy, baby)/Diamond singles, platinum albums, and a drop coupe (Skrrt)," he raps.

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French continued to flex his status in the game on the track "Casino Life 3," where he said he's done tracks with Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Nas and also taking ownership of bringing New York City back in a time where the culture of the city was on a decline.

"Tweakin' like I ain't shocked the globe/Man, I did tracks with Kanye, Nas, I did tracks with Hov/Picture taco with the scatt, put Morocco on the map/More streams, got the streak , on the wall, a hundred plaques 010 New York fell off, we brought the wave back," French raps.

French even mentions K. Dot on “Stand United”: “I don't need the money, need the morals like K-Dot.”

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The 39-year-old has a strong argument when it comes to his album sales and his devoted fanbase will continue to show out for him whenever he drops. His latest drop, Mac & Cheese 5, has been talked about on social media, proving that the rapper makes headlines. 

Mac & Cheese 5 was released last Friday, and it features guest appearances by Kanye WestLil WayneRick Ross, Lil Durk, Lil Baby, Meek Mill, JID, Westside Gunn, 41, Jeremih, Bryson Tiller, and more.

According to Rolling Stone, French is working on his next album Casino Life 3.

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