French Montana Net Worth
French Montana Net Worth: $6,000,000
Sources: Bad Boy Records, Maybach Music Group (MMG), Konvict Music, Cocaine City Records
French Montana, whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, is a rapper with a net worth of $6 million. Born in Rabat, Morocco in 1984, French Montana went on to become Morocco’s biggest Hip-Hop export. He is best known for his 2012 single “Pop That,” which was released as a joint venture between Rock Ross‘ Maybach Music Group (MMG) and Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records.
After leaving Morocco in his teens, French Montana moved to the Bronx, where he began releasing a Hip-Hop DVD series called “Cocaine City.” These DVDs mixed interviews with established Hip-Hop stars and unsigned rappers with Montana’s own raps. Between 2002 and 2010, Montana released 14 of these DVDs. By 2010, “Cocaine City” had become one of the top selling street DVDs in America.
Around 2009, Montana also began to release his own mixtapes, which helped him to attract the attention of rapper and Konvict Music record label founder Akon. French Montana signed with Konvict in 2009, but left the label two years later due to delays in releasing his debut album.
By this time, French Montana had a number of other record labels interested in him, including Bad Boy, MMG, and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music. Torn between the choices, Montana ended up signing with both Bad Boy and MMG as part of a unique joint venture. As part of this deal, Rick Ross and Diddy were both named as producers for French Montana’s debut album. The first single from the album, “Pop That,” peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became French Montana’s ticket to stardom.
French Montana’s studio debut, “Excuse My French,” dropped on May 21, 2013, and featured a host of guest appearances from artists like Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Drake, Rick Ross, Birdman, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Ne-Yo, and Machine Gun Kelly, as well as an appearance by Montana’s long time friend and mentor Max B, who is currently serving a 75-year prison term for armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and murder.
Max B has been a frequent collaborator with Montana, and the two have become best friends. “Only one of us made it,” Montana told USA Today, referring to Max B’s prison sentence. “I think about all this when I make music,” he said, “of all the sacrifices made. Nothing is just going to come to you, you have to make it happen.” In honour of his best friend, French Montana released his debut album “Excuse My French” on Max B’s birthday – May 21 (in 2013).
Montana has also had his own brushes with the law, and which involved a near-death experience. Sometime between 2003 and 2004, Montana was shot in the head while exiting a recording studio in New York, in what he describes as a possible assassination attempt. Montana survived the incident, and soon after was involved in a murder trial in which he was found not guilty.
A decade later, Montana has built a solid net worth for himself, despite having only released one studio album. And with endorsements from hip-hop heavy hitters like Diddy, Rick Ross, and Kanye West, this young rapper from Morocco has now become one of the top names in rap.
Maybach Music Group
This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(April 2017)
Maybach Music Group (MMG) is a record label imprint founded by American rapper Rick Ross. Maybach Music Group albums are distributed by Atlantic Records, a division of the Atlantic Records Group. Atlantic took over distribution following the expiration of a deal with Island Def Jam. As of December 12, 2012, the label releases are now distributed by Atlantic Records. 19 solo and three compilation albums have been released by Maybach Music Group, including five certified Gold albums. Maybach is home to many successful artists such as Ross himself, Wale, Meek Mill, Omarion, Gunplay and Torch, among others. The label has also had seven albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200 such as Deeper Than Rap, God Forgives, I Don't, and Mastermind by Rick Ross, The Gifted and The Album About Nothing by Wale and Dreams Worth More Than Money and Championships by Meek Mill.
Maybach Music Group released its first album in the summer of 2009, which was Rick Ross' third studio album Deeper Than Rap. After the release, Ross focused more on signing artists to his label, in the process discovering musicians such as Masspike Miles & hip hop group Triple C's who consists of members Gunplay, Torch, & Young Breed. On October 27, 2009, Ross released Triple C's debut studio album Custom Cars & Cycles through Def Jam. In 2010, MMG issued Teflon Don, with another album titled Color, Cut & Clarity by Triple C's also scheduled for distribution, however was delayed and has yet to be released.
Also in 2010, Ross made an offer to rapper Wiz Khalifa to sign to Maybach Music Group. Khalifa at the time was already signed with Atlantic Records. In 2011, Ross confirmed that he intended to launch Maybach Music Jamaica along with Maybach Music Latino. He also signed Maybach Music Group's first reggae artist, Magazeen. On March 25, 2011, it was announced that R&B & Soul singer Teedra Moses had signed to Maybach Music Group via Warner Bros. Records as its first female artist. On May 23, 2011, Maybach Music Group released the album Self Made Vol. 1, featuring Rick Ross with Maybach's new roster additions, Wale, Meek Mill, Teedra Moses, Pill, and Stalley along with Torch and Gunplay of Triple C's.
On January 2, 2012, while in the studio with Rick Ross, French Montana announced that he had signed a joint venture deal with Maybach Music Group and Bad Boy Records with Rick Ross and Diddy set to executive produce his debut album. It was announced that his debut album Excuse My French would be released in Fall 2012 through Interscope Records. On February 4, 2012, Rick Ross spoke about the departure of Pill from Maybach Music Group and revealed that Pill was never actually signed to Maybach Music Group. Pill was already signed to Warner Bros. prior to Maybach Music Group and it was Warner executives who proposed the idea of Pill joining. Ross says that they worked out a one-year deal where Pill would be part of the team and after the year was up, it would be up to Warner Bros. Records to decide if he stayed or not.  On May 2, 2012, Rick Ross would go on to sign Omarion to the Maybach Music Group. He also announced that Self Made Vol. 2 would be released on June 26, 2012 and God Forgives, I Don't would be released on July 31, 2012.
On June 22, 2012, while promoting Self Made Vol. 2, Rick Ross said that Gunplay signed a solo deal with Def Jam and that more material would be released from Gunplay leading up to his debut album. There have been rumors that rapper Dom Kennedy or Nipsey Hussle were in talks on joining the label but when asked about the rumors Ross stated that he was a fan of them, but is not yet signed to Maybach Music Group. On July 12, 2012 after rumors that rapper Rockie Fresh was in talks to joining the label, Ross confirmed that Rockie Fresh was the newest addition to Maybach Music Group. Rockie Fresh released a mixtape entitled Electric Highway that dropped January 21, 2013 as his first project released under the imprint.
On December 11, 2012, Ross announced that his label, MMG was leaving Warner Bros. Records and that the label is moving to Atlantic Records. Ross is, however, signed as a solo artist to Epic Records. On June 2, 2013, Rick Ross revealed an album cover and announced that Maybach Music Group will be releasing their third collaboration album, Self Made Vol. 3 on August 6, 2013. On June 3, 2013, three songs, all to appear on the album, "Poor Decisions", "God Is Great" and "Oil Money Gang" were released. On June 4, 2013, a video for each of the 3 songs were uploaded to the group's official YouTube page.Self Made Vol. 3 was released to generally positive reviews on September 17, 2013. The same day Stalley released his first retail project Honest Cowboy EP. On November 6, 2013, MMG announced that they had signed Washington DC rapper Fat Trel.
On August 26, 2017, Rick Ross appeared on Signed, a VH1 Television series where Ross, The Dream and Lenny S, mentor aspiring artists and eventually offer them a place on their respective labels (MMG, Radio Killa Records, and Roc Nation). Rick Ross offered Cozywiththecurls and Just Brittany single deals, both of whom accepted. Jeff Chery and Tay Walker - the winners of the tv show - were also offered deals with MMG. In late 2017, Stalley announced his departure from the label.
The following is a list of albums released through Maybach Music Group, various album distributors are noted below.
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- ^HipHopDX (December 10, 2014). "Hip Hop Album Sales: Wu-Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige, Eminem". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
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French Montana was born in Rabat, Morocco on November 9, 1984. He spent the first thirteen years of his life at a family house outside the city of Casablanca. Growing up, Montana, whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, enjoyed soccer and rap music. His family moved to New York City in 1996, settling in the South Bronx.
After struggling in the Big Apple for two years, his father decided to go back to Morocco, while his mother refused to come along with him. She stayed behind with her three children, raising them on her own while depending on welfare for financial support. Montana eventually became the breadwinner for his family.
He kicked off his career as a battle rapper in his teenage years under the name of Young French. In 2002, Montana and his close friend Cams produced a series of street DVDs called "Cocaine City", which featured interviews with street hip-hop artists in Bronx. He started making his original music, freestyle and collaboration and showcased them on the DVDs. The first volume in the series featured Pee Wee and Remy Ma among others.
In 2003, Montana suffered a gunshot after he was confronted by two armed gunmen while he was leaving a recording studio in Bronx. He was rushed to hospital and managed to fully recover after spending several weeks receiving medical treatment. He later found out that he was set up by someone close to him.
After years being a street rapper, Montana finally released his debut mixtape "French Revolution Vol. 1" in 2007. The effort featured collaborations with Uncle Murda, Jae Millz, Mazaradi Fox and Tony Yayo. A track called "Waavvy" off the set was his first collab with Max B, while a song titled "Quarter to Eight" marked the first of his many collaborations with Rick Ross.
Following the release of his joint mixtape with Max B, "Coke Wave", in 2009, Montana signed a record deal with Akon and his Konvict Music label. The two had been collaborating on several tracks, including "Married to the Streets" off Montana's seventh mixtape "Cocaine Konvicts", which was released later that year.
In 2010, Montana released "Mac & Cheese 2" mixtape, which featured guest appearances from rising hip-hop stars, such as Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj and Big Sean. He later signed a deal with Atlanta-based management company, Mizay Entertainment, in November. Following the management deal, Montana adopted trap influence on his music.
With Montana's growing fame in the South, he was tapped by Florida-based rapper Rick Ross to hit the studio together. He was said be coming to the studio "at like three in the morning" to listen to Ross' album "Self Made Vol. 1". The collaboration sparked speculations that Montana would be signing to Ross' label, MMG.
Montana's song titled "Short Caller" gained massive success as it became one of the most-played tracks on New York radio in 2011. By the end of the year, P. Diddy announced that Montana had signed a deal with Bad Boy Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. However, in January 2012, he signed to a joint-venture between Bad Boy Records and Maybach Music Group, making him a part of both labels.
While gearing up for the release of his debut studio album, Montana released some tracks off the set in early 2013, including Nicki Minaj-assisted single "Freaks" and a collaboration with The Weeknd, "Gifted". After being delayed for a quite long time, the debut LP titled "Excuse My French" arrived on May 21, 2013 and landed at No. 4 on Billboard 200 chart after selling 56,000 copies in its first week.
In the following year, Montana teamed up with Jennifer Lopez for her comeback single "I Luh Ya Papi". The song soon became an international hit as it was among the most played tracks on rhythmic contemporary radio. He later joined Ross, Meek Mill and Jay-Z on DJ Khaled's summer banger "They Don't Love You No More".
Despite his success in music industry, his love life wasn't going as smooth as his career. Montana's divorce from Deen Kharbouch was finalized in 2014. The two were married for five years before calling it quits in 2012. Following the divorce, Montana dated Khloe Kardashian, who also just split from Lamar Odom. However, their relationship didn't last long as it ended by the end of the year.
On May 5, 2016, Montana's contract with Interscope and MMG ended. He then signed a joint record deal with Bad Boy and Epic Records. Following the deal, it was revealed that the rapper was going to release his second studio album in October. However, it was later canceled. The intended album, "Mac & Cheese 4", was released as a mixtape instead.
While the long break was not intentional, Montana managed to make a grand comeback in 2017 with a hit song called "Unforgettable" featuring Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd. The song was a platinum-selling single as it bowed at No. 5 on Billboard Hot 100, marking Montana's first top 10 solo music on the chart. His sophomore LP, "Jungle Rules", was finally unleashed on July 14. It featured a number of A-list hip-hop artists, such as Travis Scott (II), Quavo, Future, Young Thug and T.I.
American rapper from New York
Karim Kharbouch (Arabic: كريم خربوش Karīm Kharbūš[kæɾiːm χɑʁbuːʃ]; born November 9, 1984), better known by his stage nameFrench Montana, is a Moroccan-American rapper managed by SAL&CO. Born and raised in Morocco, he emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 13. He is the founder of Coke Boys Records and its predecessor Cocaine City Records. After years of independent material, he was signed as joint-venture record deal with Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records and Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group in 2012.
Kharbouch released his debut mixtape in 2007 and had his first breakthrough with the single "Choppa Choppa Down" in 2010. He released his debut studio album Excuse My French on May 21, 2013. In July 2017, Montana released his second studio album, Jungle Rules, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. The album was supported by the single "Unforgettable", featuring Swae Lee, which became Montana's first song as lead artist to reach the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Karim Kharbouch was born on November 9, 1984, in Casablanca, Morocco. He grew up at the family estate outside Casablanca where he lived for the first 13 years of his life. Growing up, he was consumed with soccer and rap, describing them as his two favorite childhood hobbies, before getting into basketball in his later teens.
In the mid-1990s, Kharbouch left Morocco with his parents and younger brother for New York City, where they settled in the South Bronx. Kharbouch spoke only his native languages of Moroccan Darija Arabic and French when he first arrived, and learned English in the streets and in the Bronx high schools of Roosevelt and Lehman. After struggling for two years, his father decided they would move back to Casablanca, but his mother opted to stay back with their children citing lack of opportunities back home. His mother was pregnant with his youngest brother at the time, who was born in the United States shortly after his father departed for Morocco. With three children, his mother was dependent on welfare for financial support. Kharbouch eventually found himself the primary breadwinner for the family.
2002–10: Cocaine City Records
French Montana began his career as a battle rapper in his teens under the name Young French. In 2002, French and close friend Cams created a series of street DVDs called Cocaine City, drawing inspiration from the Smack DVD series popular at the time. The series featured interviews with major and upcoming rappers, personalities, and a focus on street music and hip hop beefs. Initially as Young French, he used the DVDs as a means of showcasing his talent as an underground artist, including in it his own original music, freestyles, and collaborations with other artists. The first volume in the series featured Pee Wee Kirkland and Remy Ma among others. What started out as a medium for developing an audience, quickly grew into one of the top-selling street DVDs. The series ran for eight years between 2002 and 2010, totaling 14 volumes, and multiple spinoff films. Based out of the Bronx, French ran the series with the help of childhood friends including Brock, Droop Pop and Cheeze, who went on to become the first rappers that formed the Coke Boys.
In 2003, French suffered a gunshot to the head when he was confronted by two armed gunmen as he was leaving a recording studio in the Bronx. The incident resulted in one of the gunmen dead, in what is believed to be a case of "friendly fire" by one assailant against the other. French was then hospitalized for several weeks. Upon discharge, he discovered that he was set up by someone close to him and his circle.
In 2007, French Montana released his debut mixtape French Revolution Vol. 1, which included collaborations with Uncle Murda, Jae Millz, Mazaradi Fox and Tony Yayo. The track "Quarter to Eight" was the first of many collaborations with Rick Ross. The J.Cardim-produced "Straight Cash" was French's first underground hit. In 2008, he released his second mixtape, Live From Africa. The song "Waavvy" was the first collaboration with rapper Max B.
French Montana and Max B released their debut collaborative mixtape Coke Wave on February 6, 2009. A few weeks later, on February 23, Max B's mixtape Quarantine was released, while French released his The Laundry Man on February 24, 2009. The two artists resumed concentrating on their solo records, until the release of their second collaborative mixtape Coke Wave 2 in November that year.
French was included in XXL's Freshman Class of 2012. At that time he had already been signed to Bad Boy Records following the success of his single "Shot Caller", and had just signed a joint-venture between Bad Boy and Maybach Music Group.
Harry Fraud and the Chinatown raid
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, close friend and producer Harry Fraud revealed first meeting French Montana during a recording session at a studio in Chinatown. Fraud recalls recording a song for someone which French happened to have a guest feature on. In an unusual turn of events, the building was raided by police after a tip-off that there were counterfeit Gucci and Louis Vuitton purses being manufactured at the same building. Having lost his studio spot, Fraud went on to form his own studio in Brooklyn, where the two "met and formed a bond".
Harry Fraud, who hails from a musical family background and had interned at a recording studio, was still unknown professionally at the time. The two released their first collaboration "New York Minute", featuring Jadakiss, off of French's fifth mixtape Mac Wit Da Cheese released on April 19, 2009. Following its success, the two artists recorded "We Playin In The Wind" off of French's sixth mixtape The Laundry Man 2 released on June 29. With "New York Minute" still buzzing in the city, rapper Ma$e would approach French Montana to hop on the remix, included in French's eighth mixtape Coke Wave 2 released in November. Since then, Harry Fraud's production has been a staple among French's music, and Fraud has since ventured out into working with various other artists. Fraud gained mainstream attention when his track with French Montana "Shot Caller" became one of the most added tracks on urban contemporary radio in 2011–2012.
Gaby Acevedo and signing with Akon
Starting in 2009, French Montana had signed a deal with Akon and his Konvict Music label. The two previously met in Miami in 2008, and later appeared on DJ Green Lantern's "Invasion Radio" on SiriusXM's Hip-Hop Nation. The pair collaborated on a series of tracks including their first single "Married to the Streets" on French's seventh mixtape Cocaine Konvicts released on September 25. In later interviews, French revealed that he had a "shopping deal" with Akon for a six months to a year period. "A shopping deal is when an artist takes a liking in you, and they try to take you to a label to get you signed. I was gonna go get signed to his label, but they were going through problems with Interscope. [As a result] my deal was over with him, so I went and did my own thing", claimed French in his 2012 interview with Complex. Akon, whom French refers to as "big brother", would continue to maintain a relationship with French, collaborating on songs together despite the unsuccessful deal between the two.
French had met Akon through their mutual friend Gaby Acevedo. Acevedo was then-president of SRC Records – under founder and chairman Steve Rifkind — the label first responsible for breaking out artists such as Akon, David Banner, and Remy Ma, then a member of Fat Joe's Terror Squad. Acevedo, whom French had befriended during his time working on the Cocaine City DVDs, had put his music on to Akon who then approached French inviting him to meet him in Florida. Although the Akon deal was short-lived, Acevedo would eventually go on to become French's manager following his mainstream breakout. In 2012, with Rifkind leaving SRC's parent company Universal Music Group in September, the SRC imprint would close shop as well. With French's management deal with Mizay Entertainment having recently ended, Gaby Acevedo would postpone retirement to become his new manager, where he now spends his time on the road touring with French.
2010–11: Choppa Choppa Down and southern breakout
French released his tenth mixtape Coke Boys on September 15, 2010, which included collaborations with Three 6 Mafia, Gucci Mane, Akon, Fat Joe, fellow Coke Boys, among others. The record which included the track "Choppa Choppa Down", featuring Waka Flocka Flame, became a hit among clubs and radio throughout the south. Waka Flocka, who recently broken into the mainstream with his single "Hard In Da Paint" released on May 13, had recorded the song earlier that year while Gucci Mane was still in prison. An early remix to the song, featuring French Montana, was included in French's ninth mixtape Mac & Cheese 2 released earlier that year on May 6 and which also included collaborations with rising stars Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Curren$y and Nipsey Hussle among others. The two respective breakout tracks would kick off the start of a close relationship between French and Waka Flocka, where the two describe themselves as being "brothers".
Signing with Debra Antney
On November 18, 2010, XXL magazine reported on French Montana having signed with Atlanta-based management firm Mizay Entertainment, headed by Debra Antney. Debra, who is Waka Flocka's mother, was also manager to Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman, rising star Lex Luger and the 808 Mafia production team, and formerly Nicki Minaj prior to her mainstream breakout. The music video for "Choppa Choppa Down", which featured a Black Hawk Down theme, was released in late-January and included cameos from Gucci, Shawty Lo, DJ Holiday and members of Brick Squad Monopoly. With the success of the Coke Boys mixtape and his recent management deal with Debra, French adopted a recurring trap influence among his music. in 2013, Debra Antney sued French Montana for dealing behind her back for commission. In 2017, Debra won the lawsuit against him for which he was obliged to pay $2 million to Debra.
On February 15, French released his eleventh mixtape Mister 16: Casino Life, which featured productions from Fraud and Lex Luger among others, including his soon-to-be next hit "Shot Caller". The tape's combination of hard trap beats alongside the more soulful beats – such as those of his New York producer Harry Fraud – would become a fixture among French's music. The latter sound being further explored in his twelfth mixtape Coke Boys 2 released on August 19, providing a softer break from his more robust tapes that year. Both records have been acclaimed for their production and hooks. French would continue on his increasing presence in the South, releasing his collaborative mixtape with Waka Flocka called Lock Out on December 14. That same month, he would release his long-awaited collaborative mixtape Cocaine Mafia with Memphis-based rappers Juicy J and Project Pat, released on December 19. This would be French's thirteenth and fourteenth mixtapes, respectively. With four records out in 2011, it would be his busiest year of releases since 2009. In a 2012 interview with Parlé magazine, French revealed his deal with Mizay Entertainment as having been for a year and a half.
Collaborating with Rick Ross
With French's growing buzz in the South, he was approached by Florida-based rapper Rick Ross who invited him to his studio. French, who admits having been a fan of Ross' music, was invited to come "at like three in the morning" where he listened to his upcoming MMG collaborative album Self Made Vol. 1. The two recorded a track for the album, while Ross hopped on the remix to "Choppa Choppa Down". The new single, which also featured Wiz Khalifa, was released on April 28, 2011, with the music video coming out in June. An earlier remix featuring Gucci Mane and Wiz Khalifa had been released on March 25. The collaboration would mark the start of French's relationship with Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group, prompting speculation whether French would be signing to the label.
2011–12: Shot Caller and New York takeover
With French juggling between Atlanta and New York, his song "Shot Caller" off of the Casino Life record would gain traction on New York radio beginning mid-2011. During an on-air interview with Fat Joe on DJ Green Lantern's "Invasion Radio" in October 2011, French would call in to praise close friend and fellow-Bronx rapper Fat Joe, revealing his role in helping to get "Shot Caller" on the airwaves. Fat Joe, whom he refers to as "big brother", praised French's work ethic and revealed that French had been receiving offers from several major labels.
Jim Jones bottle-throwing incident
On the night of August 5, 2011, Bronx-based rapper Fat Joe was slated to host Funkmaster Flex's birthday party at Webster Hall. During his performance, Fat Joe brought out French Montana to perform on stage. Controversy erupted as Jim Jones and his entourage, who were reportedly on the adjacent balcony seats, began hurling bottles and glass at the performers. The following day, videos of the incident were uploaded online, depicting French and his entourage facing a barrage of glass and liquor on stage, as they continued performing his rendition of "Hard In Da Paint" while facing the mentioned balcony with the crowd chanting along to it. Some of the members on stage hurled debris back towards the balcony, as Jones and his entourage eventually exited the premises.
Collaborating with Diddy
Fat Joe and Waka Flocka accompanied French Montana in his video shoot for "Shot Caller" later that month in August. The song, which made reference to Diddy's 1997 hit "Its All About The Benjamins", would soon garner the interest of the Bad Boy mogul. On October 9, French announced Diddy and T.I. for the official remix to the song.DJ Drama, who called it his favorite record, referred T.I. to jump on the remix. Although the T.I. feature never came to fruition, the remix was released on November 24, and featured rappers Diddy and Rick Ross.
With "Shot Caller" already one of the most played tracks on New York radio, on stations such as Hot 97 and Power 105, French was slated to appear on the upcoming episode of BET's 106 & Park on December 6, where he would be debuting the music video and announcing the label he's signing with. Diddy would also appear that night as part of his "Bad Boy Takeover" campaign, whereon the two officially announced that French Montana had signed to Bad Boy Records. Between 2011 and 2012, "Shot Caller" had become one of the most added tracks on urban contemporary radio in the country. It was re-released as a single on January 10, and the music video for the remix was released in February 2012. A "NY Giants remix" premiered on Funkmaster Flex's radio show on January 6, celebrating the Giants' Super Bowl win against the Patriots the day before.
2012–16: Signing to Bad Boy and MMG
Main article: Excuse My French (album)
Having received offers from several labels, including Jay-Z's Roc Nation and Kanye's GOOD Music; on December 6 on BET, French Montana publicly announced signing with Bad Boy Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. In a subsequent interview with Billboard magazine, French revealed that had he not signed with Bad Boy that MMG would be his next choice. However, on January 4, 2012, while in the studio with Rick Ross, the two announced French's new signing to a joint-venture between Bad Boy Records and Maybach Music Group, making him a part of both labels. Both Ross and Diddy would be executive producing his debut studio album.
Stay Schemin and Pop That
On January 6, the two dropped Ross' track "Stay Schemin" with rapper Drake. Notable for its memorable French and Ross "hook", the track became one of the biggest hits that year, oft-talked about for its Drake verse believed to be a "diss" towards rapper Common at the time. French Montana was featured on XXL's Freshman Class of 2012 alongside Future, Kid Ink, Danny Brown, Macklemore, Don Trip, Hopsin, Iggy Azalea, Roscoe Dash, and Bad Boy labelmate MGK. French later revealed to host Sway Calloway on MTV's RapFix Live in August 2012 that he almost turned down the cover opportunity feeling he deserved it a year or two prior.
French's first single from the upcoming album, "Pop That" was released on June 15, featuring Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne. The song would be one of the biggest hits that year, and a still-popular club and summer anthem since. It is French's most successful commercial single, having been certified "platinum" by the RIAA, and peaking at #2 on Billboard's Hot R&B and Rap charts and #36 on the Hot 100. While initially expected for a release in July 2012, French's album went through several pushbacks until its finalized release date of May 21, 2013. The date which happened to coincide with the birthdays of Max B and famous labelmate the late Notorious B.I.G. In the meantime, French had released his fifteenth mixtape Coke Boys 3 on April 13, 2012, which included collaborations with fellow Coke Boys Chinx Drugz and Cheeze, alongside the likes of Ross, Akon, Kevin Gates and Wale. Notable tracks among others include, a rare collaboration between French, Chinx and the late Stack Bundles on "Tap That", and "Headquarters" featuring Red Café and Chinx, the music video for which premiered on July 21.
The Homecoming and Mac & Cheese 3
In September 2012, French Montana was featured on the cover of the 82nd issue of The FADER magazine, who joined French on his first homecoming to Morocco after seventeen years since his family moved to the United States in 1996. The article describes his journey through Morocco, meeting his mother's family, and eventually his estranged father who isn't made aware of his son's coming arrival. French was accompanied by manager Gaby Acevedo, and youngest brother Ayoub, in addition to Zach Baron and Michael Schmelling of The FADER. The piece ends with an emotional reunion between the father and the two sons, including Ayoub who had previously never met their father before.
French marked the end of the year with his sixteenth mixtape Mac & Cheese 3 released on November 20, 2012. which included collaborations with Prodigy, Fabolous, Future, Fat Joe, Ma$e, Rico Love and Trina among others. Acclaimed for its production and track selection, it was among the most downloaded mixtapes of all time. With several productions from Young Chop, the music video to "Devil Wants My Soul" premiered on November 5, and an in-studio video of "Ocho Cinco" on November 26. Both songs would go viral, prompting another music video for "Ocho Cinco" – featuring Diddy, MGK, Red Café and King Los – released in February 2013. The song was also included as a bonus track on the upcoming Excuse My French album. The run up to which included further video releases, including the Black Metaphor produced "Sanctuary" on February 3, Swizz Beatz produced "Diamonds" featuring Ross and J. Cole on February 17, and Fraud produced "State of Mind" on May 15 and "Intro (Only If For A Night)" on November 30, among others. Since the tapes' premiere on DatPiff, it would reach the 500K "double platinum" rating by first month, and presently stands at a "diamond" rating with over 1.4 million downloads on that site alone.
Excuse My French
In January 2013, French announced his second single "Freaks", featuring Nicki Minaj, from his upcoming album to be a remake of Lil Vicious' 1994 song of the same name. The song premiered on Hot 97 on February 13, with the music video coming out on March 3. The remix, featuring an additional Ross, Wale, Mavado and DJ Khaled, was released on April 25. A bonus track "Marble Floors" was released earlier on December 4, 2012, featuring Ross, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz with production from Mike WiLL Made It. It would fast become a viral hit, only to be outdone by French's third single "Ain't Worried About Nothin" released on April 15, 2013. The music video premiered on May 7, and would be the last before the release of his album on May 21. Subsequent music videos included, "Trap House" featuring Ross and Birdman released on September 23, "Gifted" featuring The Weeknd on October 15, "Once In A While" featuring Max B on November 18, and "Paranoid" featuring Johnny May Cash on January 20, 2014, among others.
His first solo single "Ain't Worried About Nothin" was a hit on radio stations, and a remix featuring Ross, Diddy and Snoop Dogg was released on October 4, and a second remix featuring Miley Cyrus on October 14. Upon its release, Excuse My French was met with mixed reviews from music critics. It fared better commercially, debuting at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 56,000 copies in the United States. The album also featured collaborations with Raekwon, Scarface, Ne-Yo and Jeremih among others.
Following the album release, French announced signing Chicago-based rapper Lil Durk to his Coke Boys. French, who is close to producer Young Chop, had previously collaborated with Durk on his recent mixtape and with Chief Keef on his debut album the year before. Durk, Chinx and Young Chop appeared in the music video to "Paranoid", featuring Chop's brother Johnny May Cash. The song is inspired by French's brushes with death, including the late-2003 incident where he survived a gunshot to the head. Durk collaborated on several records with French in the coming years, starting with the remix to Durk's breakout single "Dis Ain't What U Want" featuring French, Ross and Meek Mill, released on November 27, 2013.
French appeared as a featured artist on several singles in 2013, most notably Joe Budden's "NBA" with Wiz Khalifa released on March 26; ASAP Ferg's "Work (Remix)" – alongside Schoolboy Q, ASAP Rocky and Trinidad James – on May 14; Canadian singer Massari's "Shisha" on May 21; and Will.i.am's "Feelin Myself" with Miley Cyrus and Wiz Khalifa on November 26, among others.
Pushbacks and comebacks
Despite several pushbacks, French released his seventeenth mixtape Coke Boys 4 on January 2, 2014, which included collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, MGK, Mally Mall, Lil Durk and MeetSims, among others. The music video for the "Paranoid (Remix)" – featuring Diddy, Ross, Meek, Durk, Chinx and Jadakiss – was released on April 13. Subsequent music videos included, "88 Coupes" featuring Jadakiss released on May 15, "God Body" featuring Chinx on May 28, and "Money Bag" with Durk and Chinx on June 23. In a January 2014 Rolling Stone interview, French revealed that his next Mac & Cheese would be a studio album instead of a mixtape.
In 2014, French collaborated with Diddy on Ross' track "Nobody" released on February 19. Rick Ross' remake of the late Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 song "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)", featured an eerie chorus by French and interludes of Diddy in a live motivational rant. The song was inspired by Ross' brush against death the year before, when his Rolls-Royce came under repeated gunshot fire while driving through Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 28, 2013. In a bizarre series of events, French Montana would experience a similar but unrelated event months later when his convoy came under fire on March 1 in Philadelphia during his "Excuse My French" tour after French had finished performing a show hours earlier. The music video premiered on February 27, 2014. Albeit met with mixed to positive reviews, the song would be a hit and was re-released as a single on March 3, 2014. French joined Ross for a live performance on the television program Late Night with Seth Meyers on March 5, 2014.
French Montana would collaborate with fellow-Bronx native Jennifer Lopez on her comeback single "I Luh Ya Papi". The song premiered on LA's Power 106 on March 5, and was released as a single on March 11, with the music video coming out two days later. The single was an international hit, and among the most added/played tracks on rhythmic contemporary radio in Canada. French also appeared in the music video to Fat Joe's single "Stressin", featuring Jennifer Lopez, which premiered in October later that year. French joined Rick Ross on Puff Daddy's comeback single "Big Homie" from his upcoming album MMM. With a guest verse by Ross and ad-libs by French, the single was released on March 24, with the music video premiering on March 31. French Montana joined Ross, Meek and veteran Jay-Z on DJ Khaled's summer hit "They Don't Love You No More". The single was released on March 29, with the music video coming out on June 22 that year.
On July 17, teasers to the movie The Purge: Anarchy were released featuring music from French's upcoming single "Don't Panic". A month earlier, Instagram photos of the two showed French with then-girlfriend Khloé Kardashian on set with matching masks on, prompting speculation whether she was in the coming video. Following weeks of promotion, the single was released on August 12. The music video, which retained the dark themes of the movie while maintaining its catchy DJ Mustard character, became a viral hit. The couple had created bit of a stir two months earlier, on June 2, when Khloé posted an IG photo of the two on set of "They Don't Love You No More", depicting French holding a rifle in his arms with Khloé seated next to him with a bottle of liquor to her mouth. The remix to "Don't Panic", featuring Jeremih and Chris Brown, was released on October 14.
French Montana would join Remy Ma on DJ Khaled's "They Don't Love You No More (Remix)" released on August 2. Khaled's former Terror Squad affiliate and Bronx-native Remy Ma had just been released from prison the day prior. The three appeared together in the music video which premiered on August 23. This was her first musical comeback since her incarceration six years earlier. French collaborated with Ashanti on her second single "Early In The Morning" released on October 14 off of her comeback album, Braveheart. This would be Ashanti's first album in six years.
French released his second single "Bad Bitch", featuring Jeremih, in December 2014, with the music video premiering on February 23, 2015. In late-October, French had announced his "Set It Off" tour with Jeremih, running up to his expected Mac & Cheese: The Album release in December. With the album eventually pushed back to next year; in its place, French released his collaborative EP with Harry Fraud, Mac & Cheese: The Appetizer on December 12, 2014. His eighteenth mixtape, The Appetizer marked a shift away from French's usual feature-heavy records. With Fraud's signature sample-heavy production, French blurred the lines between rap and R&B in a manner not unlike that of Max B, and with subject matter ranging from difficult life-decisions, women, addiction and memories of his bygone friendship with his now-incarcerated rap soulmate. In August 2015, French paired with pop-opera artist Charisse Mills for the single "Champagne."
2016–present: Wave Gods, MC4, Jungle Rules, and Montana
Main articles: Jungle Rules and Montana (album)
This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(November 2017)
On February 14, 2016, DJ Khaled announced that he would debut French's new mixtape on We The Best Radio. The mixtape, hosted by Max B, debuted on February 19, 2016. On May 5, 2016, French's contract with Interscope and MMG ended, and he later signed a joint venture record deal with Bad Boy and Epic Records. Later, French was going to release his second studio album MC4 in October 2016, however, the album's release was canceled after Target unofficially released the album on CD on its original release date (August 19, 2016), two months before the album was set to release, which also managed to leak its entirety on internet as a leak, plus some "sample clearance issues" on tracks like "I'm Heated" and 2 Times". It was originally supposed to be the fourth installment in the "Mac & Cheese" series, and the first to be originally released as an album. French later stated that he's planning to start a new record label with Max B when he is released. On November 5, 2016, Montana unexpectedly released the album as a mixtape instead and premiered it on Drake's Beats 1 radio show, OVO Sound radio later that night. Montana revealed in an interview with Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show that the first and second single from his upcoming project is ready to be released. He also announced a collaborative track with Chance the Rapper and Quavo, produced by Ben Billions, a collaboration with Swae Lee that is "just like 'Unforgettable'", as well as a song called "No Stylist". On July 14, 2017 Montana released Jungle Rules as his second album.
On December 6, 2019, French Montana released his third studio album Montana, which includes the song "Writing on the Wall", a collaboration with Cardi B, Post Malone and Rvssian.
Montana's charitable work started after he visited Uganda to film his "Unforgettable" video in 2017, a song that gained over a billion streams and held strong on the top 10 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His efforts in Uganda raised half a million dollars to build the Suubi hospital which serves over 300,000 citizens of Uganda.
In 2018, French was given the honor of Global Citizen Ambassador for his charity work in the East African country, Uganda. This was the first time the honor has been bestowed upon a rapper.
Montana is fluent in his native Arabic and French as well as in English. He cites being a father as one of his driving inspirations.
Montana has been a resident of the Pompton Plains section of Pequannock Township, New Jersey. In 2016, he bought Selena Gomez's Calabasas, California home for $3.3 million.
Montana married Deen Kharbouch in 2007. The couple had separated by 2012, and their divorce was finalized in 2014. They have a son who was born in October 2010.
In June 2018, Montana became a U.S. citizen.
In 2003, two gunmen shot at Montana as he left a recording studio in New York, striking him in the head. He survived and was hospitalized for several weeks. One of the gunmen died during the incident, in what is believed to be a case of "friendly fire" by one assailant against the other. Montana was investigated for the incident, but the case was eventually dismissed. In early 2013, Montana visited the site of the shooting with a camera crew from Life+Times as he recalled the near-death experience and his life growing up in the Bronx. This was the first time he had visited the location since the attempted murder ten years earlier. According to French, he was set up by someone close to him and his circle.
French has been the owner of a number of pets, ranging from dogs to exotic animals such as tigers and a monkey. On April 22, 2013, French Montana posted an Instagram picture with the caption "Got so high last night bought 2 baby tigers". The picture was of French outdoors holding two tiger cubs, one on each arm. The tigers, named Ike and Tina, were prominently featured in French's music video for "The Gifted" featuring friend and singer The Weeknd, released later that year. In 2014, the rapper noted he had given up the two tigers shortly after getting them, citing the difficulty in feeding and caring for the animals.
Since late-2014, French Montana became the owner of a pet monkey named Julius Ceasor. A video of the animal was uploaded on December 18, showing French and record producer Mally Mall entering a private-jet with French then cradling the infant monkey in his arms.
French Montana describes Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Wu-Tang Clan among the hip hop artists he listened to growing up. He considers himself a music lover in general, and admires the work of English soul/R&B singers Adele and Amy Winehouse, the English rock band Florence + the Machine, and American singer Lana Del Rey, several of whom he has sampled in his music.
Main article: French Montana discography
Awards and nominations
African Muzik Magazine Awards
BET Hip Hop Awards
Billboard Music Awards
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- ^"Mizay Entertainment's Deb Antney Calls Nicki Minaj Her "First Born Child" Of Being Successful". HipHopDX. August 27, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- ^"Debra Antney Talks Discovering Gucci Mane, French Montana, & Nicki Minaj, "LHHATL" & More". HipHopSince1987.com. September 25, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
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- ^"French Montana – Coke Boy 2". datpiff.com. August 19, 2011.
- ^"French Montana, Juicy J & Project Pat – Cocaine Mafia". livemixtapes.com. December 19, 2011.
- ^"French Montana Ft. Rick Ross & Wiz Khalifa – Choppa Choppa Down (Remix)". Youtube.com. OfficialRickRossTV. June 6, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- ^ ab"French Montana Calls His "Big Brother" Fat Joe On Invasion Radio". Hip Hop Nation on SiriusXM. October 28, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- ^"Fat Joe On The Fight Between Jim Jones And French Montana". MTV.com. August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- ^"French Montana and Jim Jones have altercation at Webster Hall". MissInfo.tv. August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- ^ ab"Jim Jones vs French Montana at Webster Hall". Youtube.com. MaziO. August 6, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
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- ^ abc"French Montana Taps Diddy & T.I. for "Shot Caller (Remix)"". XXL. November 10, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- ^ ab"Diddy Announces French Montana Bad Boy Signing on 106 & Park". BET.com. December 6, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
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- ^ ab"French Montana Announces Maybach Music Group and Bad Boy Records Joint Venture". TheVersed.com. January 4, 2012. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
- ^ ab"French Montana Celebrates Bad Boy/MMG Alliance". RapRadar.com. January 4, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
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- ^Angel Diaz, Brandon Jenkins (October 2016). "French Montana Ain't Worried about Scrapping 'MC4' (Exclusive)". Complex.com. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
- ^Findlay, Mitch (May 15, 2018). "French Montana & Swae Lee Are Sitting On The Next "Unforgettable"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- ^"New Music: Diplo, French Montana, & Lil Pump feat. Zhavia – 'Welcome to the Party'". Rap-Up. May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- ^"French Montana Launches Global Healthcare Initiative, Donates $100K to Mama Hope Organization in Uganda: Exclusive". Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- ^"French Montana Donated $100K to Uganda and Became Rap's First-Ever Global Citizen Ambassador". January 27, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- ^ abcdPeña, Loris (August 28, 2012). "Monsieur Montana". Status Magazine. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
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- ^Melas, Chloe (September 30, 2014). "French Montana: Rapper Officially Divorces Wife Dean Kharbouch". Hollywood Life. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- ^ ab"French Montana – Ain't Worried 'Bout Nothin ... Finally Divorced". TMZ.com. October 3, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- ^French Montana becomes US citizenTMZ.com 2018/06/14
- ^French Montana becomes United States citizenThe Fader, 2018/06/14
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- ^"Exclusive: Mally Mall Gifts French Montana With a Monkey!". Youtube.com. Mando Fresko. December 18, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
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Montana mmg french
.Rick Ross Ft. Drake \u0026 French Montana - Stay Schemin
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