Interview: French Montana
After many years on the mixtape and street DVD grind French Montana finally got his break, teaming up with MMG and Bad Boy Records. The New York rapper has been one of the most featured hip-hop artists this year, creating anthems like 'Stay Schemin' and 'Shot Caller'. The self-proclaimed 'hottest rapper on the streets' took time out to speak to The Wrap Up's Kristian Galea about his debut album 'Excuse My French', his rapping peers and beef in the rap industry…
The Wrap Up: Welcome to London! How are you finding it?
French Montana: Yeah man, it's all good!
TWU: Glad to hear it! 'Coke Boyz 3' is your latest mixtape release; will we be expecting a third instalment for 'Mac and Cheese' as well?
French Montana: Yeah, definitely. I'm dropping that on August 1 if I'm not mistaken. I've become the hottest in the street without dropping a solo mixtape in a year; so I feel like if I was to drop one now I'd really do some damage!
TWU: What can we expect from your debut album 'Excuse My French'?
French Montana: I've been working on everything man. On the album I'm just trying to show people why I am the hottest in the streets right now, so you'll see.
TWU: Your lead single 'Pop That' features, Ross, Wayne and Drake - any more big features on the album?
French Montana: Oh yeah, for sure. As far as the album goes, I'm only working with the family and people that I have a good vibe with. I'm not going to do something just for the sake of a name; I need to make sure the music sounds good. So far I've done something with The Weeknd, my brother Max B, the Coke Boyz, MMG and Bad Boy. I'm waiting for Kanye, but maybe because I ain't signed to him he don't want to do a song with me!
TWU: You are co-signed to Bad Boy Records. Did you have any reservations about signing to the label?
French Montana: Umm… I don't judge my relationship with Puff or Bad Boy according to other people or past artists. At the end of the day, you are in charge of your career and you can't depend on no man to do anything for you. I’ve learned to judge relationships with a person on myself and that person, not what they have done with previous people. MMG is part of the deal too, so MMG, Bad Boy and Interscope are all part of my deal - It wasn't one label that just put in one bid.
TWU: We happened with rumours of you joining Konvict Music?
French Montana: Me and Akon never really had a deal, he was trying to give me a shot and take me everywhere but it just didn't work out at the time. As time went by I just got hotter and hotter and decided to go where I was most comfortable.
TWU: People who have listened to you from early will know about your affiliation with Max B - did he give you any words of advice before his sentencing?
French Montana: Max? It was more about me giving him advice; when me and Max talk it isn't about music - it's about life. We were really close friends before anything, so it was like I lost a close friend when he went inside; not just a partner I'm rapping with. I told him to save his money because he was going to need it. All we can do is keep Max in our prayers. His appeal is going dope! He's fighting, but when you get 75 years in jail you've just got to sit back, reflect and put it together.
TWU: Last year, you had a pretty public beef with Jim Jones. Is that over now?
French Montana: It is what it is. It was never really no beef, it was just ego's clashing. It's done - I'm doing me, everyone is just moving on.
TWU: There is so much beef in the rap industry; how would you deal with these conflicts?
French Montana: First, I would find them. People use beef for different things; to promote their albums and gain publicity. I don't feel like no beef in the rap game is real, people use it for whatever they try to use it for.
TWU: Very true. You recently just finished Drake’s Club Paradise Tour - how was that experience?
French Montana: It was lovely man, shout out to Drake for making something like that happen with no problems. It was a beautiful thing; he is probably the only person who could do something like that. Shout out to Drake - he's my brother and he showed me a lot of love.
TWU: Finally the release of ‘Excuse my French’ has been pushed back, so when can we finally expect a release?
French Montana: I'm thinking about dropping it in November, but don't quote me! Being on tour didn't give me enough time, but now I am back, I am ready and I am focused.
To keep up to date with French, follow him on Twitter.
Words: Kristian Galea (@KrisSoAppalled)