French Montana is gonna have a hard time claiming he “ain’t worried ’bout nothin” for a while. The “Pop That” MC took a break from the carefree lifestyle he raps about to get his Twitter fingers dirty in a war of words with a random tweeter Wednesday; but he was the only one who came out of the battle covered in mud.
French’s reputation with some listeners may be permanently stained after he attempted to drag @artdecoxxx for questioning his relevance.
French responded with a string of rhyming insults that should have impressed the many critics of his lyrical abilities. But he also caught the ire of Woke Twitter, Feminist Twitter and every troll who’s been waiting for a chance to get off jokes about his musical ability and dating past.
Of course, the most immediate backlash focused on his use of the word “nappy,” which sparked endless discussions about the Moroccan American’s Blackness. He’s since announced that he wasn’t even aware of the negative historic connotations of the word.
The controversy quickly reignited debates about French’s right to use the word “nigga” in songs and otherwise profit off Black American culture without showing absolute honor, humility and wokeness. DJ Khaled, Jennifer Lopez and countless others have faced similar criticism in the past, but few have handled the delicate topic as clumsily as French did on his timeline.
He tried in vain to justify his comments by mentioning his Black son, African mother and the formative years he spent in North Africa. But folks quickly shot down the “I have Black friends” parallel and pointed out the presence of racist Arab colonizers and other anti-Black cultures across the continent (remember apartheid?). The main point, you can’t claim to be Black-adjacent simply because the continent you’re from is predominantly Black. And as many tweeters pointed out, after his attempts to clarify his racial ties, he never once made it a point to identify himself as a Black man.
Next, came anger from those who disapproved of French’s overt aggressiveness with the young woman, especially considering how mild her initial comment was. Even those who can rationalize the use of words like “bitches” and “hoes” in his lyrics struggled to make sense of why a 32-year-old man feel the need to check a female college student with a rhyming string of explicit sexual references and misogynistic putdowns that would make Bishop Don Magic Juan raise his chalice.
The final round of shots came from the rest of the peanut gallery, as trolls took turns making fun of the current status of French’s career and questioned why he had time to reply to critics in the first place. Many felt the most shameful part about his outburst was that he had apparently found the insulting tweet by searching his own name — the ultimate sign of desperation and irrelevance according to some.
French’s recording career will survive this dust up, but some will forever associate him with how poorly he handled it from start to finish. His outburst wasn’t fitting of a boss or a baller, it was petty and poorly thought-out. His racial identity, treatment of women and cultural relevance were all called into question as a result of his short temper and uncreative clapback; and all because he was probably just having a bad day and turned to the black mirror in his phone to blow off some steam.
Even after all the reactions and some personal reflection, French probably won’t have a change of heart or face. He’s already had too many friends and fans cape for him and back up his right to drag a hater in self-defense. But hopefully one of the many legendary OG’s who co-signed and aided his rise — from Diddy to Rick Ross to Max B — can help him understand why his offensive clapback hurt himself more than anyone else.