10 Things You Didn’t Know About French Montana
French Montana, born Karim Kharbouch, is pretty much the biggest rapper in New York right now. After a decade of releasing street DVDs, the Morocco-born, Bronx, N.Y.-raised emcee has released his solid debut album, 'Excuse My French.'
The 28-year-old rapper is already making noise with his club anthem 'Pop That' and the dancehall-inspired banger 'Freaks' featuring Nicki Minaj. Next, he's about to hit fans with the haunting 'Gifted' featuring the Weeknd.
In honor of the self-proclaimed Coke Boy, we looked around for some interesting facts about him. So check out TheDrop.fm’s 10 Things You Didn’t Know About French Montana and celebrate this Bad Boy artist's success. Haann!
French Montana is originally from Rabat, Morocco. When he emigrated to the U.S., at age 13, he was coined with the nickname "French" because he could speak Arabic and French. "Montana" came later in his adult life as a street hustler, which is a nod to drug kingpin Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino in 'Scarface.'
Montana spent a decade building his street cred with his popular 'Cocaine City' DVDs. It took him even longer to snag a record deal with Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment. But he learned that patience is a virtue.
“To make that transition from the streets to the music business you have to learn that the streets is not like the music business," he told Complex in 2012. "In the streets, you can come up overnight. In the music business, that’s not going to happen. So it takes patience."
The self-proclaimed "Coke Boy" loves animals so much he purportedly bought two Bengal tigers while shooting the video for his latest single, 'Gifted.' Two endangered animals were his co-stars in the clip. "If you look at my Instagram I took a picture with a bunch of little tigers in the video. I bought them, they're in the house right now," he revealed to MTV. No word if PETA paid him a house call or not. But we think he's just joking.
Rumors are circulating that Montana and Trina are an item. But the New York rapper insists they are just good friends. "When people see you with somebody more than one time they are always going to spread rumors," he says. "[She's] a close friend of mines and we keep it on a cool level. We're just friends." We don't know nann.
In 2012, Montana traveled to his native homeland of Morocco to reunite with his long lost father. The New York rapper hadn't seen his dad since he was 13 years old. Sixteen years later, he finally met the man he once despised when he was a kid. Fader documented the reunion, which left Montana, and his young brother, Ayoub, speechless.
Montana's first and only job was at a car wash. He only lasted for three days and quit. "I couldn't do it. That's when I chose the streets," he recalls. "My man's uncle had a car wash. I went there and worked for three days and [said], 'I can't do this s---.'" Now he's cleaning it up in the rap game. Haann!
Although Montana is signed to both Bad Boy and Maybach Music Group, he was this close to signing with Kanye West's label G.O.O.D. Music. But he couldn't ink the deal with Yeezy due to one small technicality.
"Kanye doesn’t have a phone. If you need to get in contact with Kanye, you have to email him," he said. "I don’t know how to use an email, so I guess me and you is never gonna talk, and I’ma put my career in your hands?"
The Bad Boy artist recently got the biggest co-sign from none other than the O.G. of gangsta rap Snoop Lion. Montana spoke highly of the veteran rhyme-slinger-turned-Rasta shaman. "I met him in L.A. [I] went to the studio and he had a mink on," he told New York radio station Hot 97. "If I was an O.G. in the game, I want to be Snoop. I don't wanna be [Jay-Z], I want to be Snoop. Because the love is there [for him]. You don't have to think twice. It's uncle Snoop."
French Montana's 4-year-old son is the young boy you see on the cover of his new album, 'Excuse My French.' The artwork features the kid walking through the desert wearing a Versace hoodie. The Bronx rapper describes the cover as his personal journey from a New York street hustler to a big-time rapper.
"The deserts represent the dry period of my life when I had nothing and I had to work to get that water and to make a living for me and my family," he explained to Rolling Stone. "It was only right that I used my son for that picture. He represents my future and me; I represent his past. It is all about the journey of my life, my music, and my movement."
Outside of hitmaker RedOne and DJ A-Trak, Montana is arguably one of the most well-known music artists from Morocco who made it in America. The 'Pop That' rapper hopes to one day grab some of his famous friends, including fellow Moroccan A-Trak, and perform a special hometown concert for the people of Morocco.
"I wanna be able, me and A-Trak to play together, he’s the biggest DJ, I’m the biggest rapper star to ever come out of there," he told Infinite Legroom. "That’s something I’m looking foreword to do every summer. Bring everybody from me to [Rick Ross] to Diddy, to everybody. One time, just for Morocco, and I feel like that would be the biggest thing."