Two seemingly incompatible styles, French Montana and Fetty Wap come together to create the multifarious mixtape Coke Zoo. Considering Fetty Wap’s recent success, it is no surprise that his distinctive charm is the fuel behind the parts of this mixtape that are fire. The first half of the album leaves listeners wondering who that rapper is Fetty Wap keeps featuring song after song. French Montana delivers strong lines but few of his contributions stand out more so than Fetty Wap’s catchy hooks and definite adlibs. Simply put, most of the verses that make listeners want to sing along weren’t a product of French Montana.
Coke Zoo starts off strong but its appeal gradually tapers. Montana’s strongest track on the mixtape, “First Time”, features a muffled monologue from Puff Daddy with Bollywood-esque female vocals before unexpectedly exploding into an ingenious hip hop beat. I can’t actually comprehend what he’s trying to convey during the majority of this track but it doesn’t matter because it still sounds pretty badass. The following track “Power” is a joint effort between the two artists of the hour. With Fetty Wap’s sing-songy lines and French Montana’s brief but bold verse, “Power” does well for itself.
From here on out, Coke Zoo doesn’t get any better but on the bright side, it doesn’t get too much worse. The greatest downfall to this mixtape is its tendency to sound like something we’ve all heard too many times before. The next track “Freaky” literally sounds like the offspring of the artists’ most popular singles “Pop That” and “Trap Queen”. French Montana features Chris Brown in “Gangsta Way” but if I didn’t know better, I would have thought Chris Brown wrote the song and requested a verse or two from the aforementioned rapper. And when autotune is used on any vocals that don’t belong to Fetty Wap, it comes off as forced and distracting instead of enhancing the end product. This collaboration had a lot of potential and despite the contrasts, French Montana and Fetty Wap found successful ways to complement each other. But alas, Coke Zoo did not maintain enough congruency as it jumped around the rap genre and landed in a pool of mediocrity.