Dancehall and hip-hop has always held close sonic ties. Back in 1994, beat-box pioneer Doug E. Fresh and teen dancehall Lil’ Vicious collaborated on the unforgettable club staple “Freaks” and almost 20 years later French Montana has resurrected the hit with Nicki Minaj by his side.
“I just feel like that was the perfect song for her. We could’ve did a strip club song. We just wanted to do something that was big. We both from New York, so I feel like this made sense,” Montana told MTV News back in February from the song’s video set.
The Eif Rivera-directed visual, which hit the Net on Thursday (March 7), centers around a vibrant house party pumped with gyrating dancers, curvaceous models and a fire-breathing dare devil. The track directly lifts the Lil’ Vicious chorus and uses it as its own, while the backing beat is derived from the same beat Chaka Demus and Pliers used on their 1990’s dancehall classic “Murder She Wrote.”
For the song’s video, French wanted to combine that Caribbean energy, with a hip-hop twist similar to the dance vibe captured in G. Dep and Diddy’s 2001 “Let’s Get It” video where the original Harlem Shake dance was introduced into the mainstream.
“I feel like this song brings back the essence of the dancehall. I feel like just the dances alone in this song is gonna take it somewhere else,” French said of the latest single off of his upcoming solo debut Excuse My French. “I feel like people missed it, I haven’t seen something like this in a while.”
What do you think of French Montana’s “Freaks” video? Let us know in the comments!