by Miles Raymer
Moroccan-born NYC rapper French Montana made a big splash on the rap scene a few years ago and has spent the time since releasing a string of increasingly fiery mixtapes, but his long-promised official solo debut's been tied up in label politics for years now. Excuse My French, which has already produced two Hot 100 singles, "Freaks" (featuring Nicki Minaj) and "Pop That" (featuring a vanload of massive rap stars), is finally set to be released on May 21.
And "Umbrella" cowriter, fashion hero, and R&B genius Terius "The-Dream" Nash is about to bless the world with IV Play, his first official album since artists like the Weeknd and Frank Ocean began collecting massive numbers of listeners from outside the R&B world using slight variations on his groundbreaking signature style. It was supposed to come out last week, but the date's been pushed back to May 28th.
But over the past 24 hours both of them have let loose a couple of collaborative singles with other artists that fit together nicely, in a nocturnal sex vampire-ish kinda way. Montana's teamed up with the Weeknd for the guitar-heavy track "Gifted," while the-Dream's is a song he wrote and produced for former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland, whose highly engaging comeback album, Talk a Good Game, is due out next month. They also happen to be the best two songs released this week.