The setting -- a hot and humid mid-August night in the West Village with an overcast sky lingering from a flash thunderstorm that passed through hours ago. Hundreds of fans are making their way toward Pier 40, not usually known as a hopping party spot. But tonight is different. Tonight is French Montana
's album release party for his much anticipated album MC4,
featuring the likes of Drake, Kanye West, and Nas. And with a line-up like that, it's only appropriate that the album is ushered in on a massive 3-deck yacht filled to the brim with bangers and booze.
Getting on the boat was painless and the staff should be commended for ushering in such a huge amount of people without any hassle. Once on the boat, guests were free to walk inside and out each deck (one section of the boat was limited to VIPs, but that included not much other than pricey bottle service and limited non-reserved seating) as well as treat themselves to some buffet-style dining. Outside there was plenty of room and seating, providing refuge from the music for those who needed a breather. But when the boat embarked about an hour later, it would be proven that those who needed a break were among the minority. For lack of a better term -- it was lit.
The Hot 97 crew -- namely Kast One, Laura Stylez, and Ebro Darden, got the party started with an endless onslaught of rap bangers familiar to anyone who's been to a club in the last year (funnily enough, their setlist was filled with Drake songs despite his recent comments). The audience quickly made their way to the long and narrow dance floor, liquored up and ready to dance. We all danced for about an hour or so (it's hard to keep track of time when you're lost in the music) until the man himself made his first appearance of the night. Materializing out of the shadowy underbelly of the ship, French Montana and his entourage appeared in the VIP section above the dance floor. He took his seat front row and center to all the action, sitting above his fans and looking down at us like the King he knew he was.
With French's appearance made, the dancing resumed, although it was no longer as universal with many fans choosing to capture endless cell phone footage opposed to continuing in the celebrating. This would not last long as the special guest took the stage, overnight sensation who was not on the bill but made the night all the more memorable, Desiigner. Performing "Panda" and the recently released "Timmy Turner," Desiigner brought a level of energy that made it impossible for the man's substance to overcome his style. He didn't deliver the most "quality" material, but there was no doubt he succeeded in raising everyone's hype level through the roof. And to be fair, that's exactly why he was there.
Shortly after Desiigner wrapped up, French Montana descended from his elevated perch to get ready backstage. At this point, dancing was done away with altogether as what seemed like every single person on the boat rushed forward to get the best spot possible. Even the VIP section was swarmed from all angles, with those who had spent the entire night indulging in bottle service clambering toward the railing that looked down at the stage. It was not long after that French took the stage and thanked an audience of raised cell phones for making it out. He kept his speech short and performed a handful of songs, including fan favorites like "Lockjaw" and "All The Way Up." Desiigner even came back out to provide an unnecessary but welcomed energy boost to the set. It was short and sweet and the crowd loved it.
After French wrapped up he thanked everyone again and left for what would be the last time that night. The dancing resumed for a short bit until the boat docked and we were all told to go home. Exhausted and sweaty, everyone in the crowd made for the exit with smiles on their faces. The whole night had a distinctly New York feel to it, as in it felt impossible to have such a memorable night anywhere else but this great city. If French Montana's MC4
is half as hype as this yacht party was, I'm all in.