I heard “Unforgettable” when it leaked in winter 2016 and I felt like it was such a massive summer song that the timing was confusing. I was relieved when it reappeared in April 2017. It’s one of those songs that gets so huge that there’s a danger of it becoming overplayed but I’ve always loved it.
There’s an obvious dance hall influence which meant it was a summer song in 2016/2017. Then “Despacito” happened and reggaeton became the new summer indicator. Sometimes pop music leans too hard into other musical styles when they’re popular, co-opting instead of taking inspiration, but I think “Unforgettable” balances that well. There’s obviously steel drums and a classic dancehall beat but it’s definitely incorporated into a hip hop sound.
“Unforgettable” also has another of my favourite bad rap lyrics of all time, coming from French Montana: “I got a hard head, but her ass soft”. The real appeal is the Swae Lee’s choruses. His echo-y vocals on the top of the dance hall beat is top notch. There’s been some back and forth about the origins of the song and debate about how responsible French Montana was. It’s an interesting idea that Swae Lee may have had more of an input as the featured artist, than French Montana in the biggest song of his career.
You can listen to “Unforgettable” by French Montana feat. Swae Lee here.