For French Montana, compliments come. Featuring Swai Lee’s 2017 single “Unforgettable”, his album “Jungle Rules” has garnered more than three billion streams in the three years since he made a home for the hit – all the milestones in the South Bronx, New York rapper celebrated this week throughout his career. 13 billion connected streams (with features). Recognition through Grammy still includes the French but he is equally known for his monstrosity, happy near his heart and among the favorite organizations: I stand with immigrants and global citizens.
Diversity COVID-19, caught up with French Montana via Zoom to talk about “unforgettable” memories and life during Kanye West’s run for president.
With all these achievements, what is your success?
To be happy, healthy and rich. Wealthy people make money while sleeping. You are not rich until you get it. অর্জন Every achievement means something or other. Coming from Mecca to Morocco and hip-hop, the Bronx, doing everything in the middle of the desert means a lot.
“Unforgettable” itself has 1.1 billion views on YouTube and 3 billion streams overall. Do you have any idea how it will affect the way it is done?
Yes. I fell in love with that record. The more I listened, the more I fell in love. That record is my Marvin Guy’s “Let’s Get Started” “One day when people listen to my catalog, that’s it.”
The video is so powerful, what was the highlight of dancing with these kids in Uganda?
It was a life-changing moment. When I see them dancing, happy and without worrying about what we all think about life here, I realize that if you are not rich in heart, you will never be rich. The whole Ugandan thing was a life-changing experience. Many artists don’t realize that you have to overcome all the obstacles in life in order to make art. Comedians, the saddest people are funny because they turn their sadness into a joke. The artists who rap, they have to turn to your sad songs [into happy songs]. With Uganda, there is no medical care. They even knew nothing about the phone. We all learned a lot about life and kids were part of it.
How do you celebrate the song Diamond?
I want to fly to them again. I got their first visa because they didn’t believe me. We all need to see it again because so many people were involved with the “unforgettable”, it’s crazy.
This is the three year anniversary of “Jungle Rules”, what were your expectations after the release of this album?
That album is so special to me because I think of bits and pieces. I remember standing with Nugget, the son of Chins. As we stood on the bridge in New York, Drake hit me like “I have to be in the role of video.” [to “Whiskey Eyes”]. He came, it’s me, Nugget and Drake. I, like Bah, wished Chins would see it there because usually he would be the one who said, “Yeah Doug, you did it.” It was a powerful moment.
“Unforgettable” moment. Scream for the legendary Salar [Slaiby]This was our first project to work together. Over the days, I’ve made lots of mixtapes. I wonder, “If I make an album, will I go platinum?” I have to go through [Rick] Ross ’Coka, he had many gold and platinum records; Measure yourself with people like yourself as you walk around the puff. This was my first platinum album, coming from the Bronx and performing it is a great thing.
How has Kovid affected your career?
I needed it because I’m working so hard. A lot of people needed it because of tapping into your other strengths. It helps you go to your own area and build on other things. The world needs to rest a bit.
What was your pre-covid schedule and what is it like now?
Now, it’s doing more in music. It was performing more without Covid
Is it weird to be at home so much?
Sometimes it gets a little weird. It forces you to look for things, to catch things because we’ve been tearing up and moving on for the last 10 to 20 years. Now with Kovid, you sit down and concentrate on the things you saw in the past.
Canyon’s thoughts with the announcement that he is running for president?
He should start single for the people to vote. If he composes his music towards voting, more of us will vote. This is the best work for him.
How did you connect with Tory Lanez in “Cold”?
I have known Tori for about 10 years. You know when you’re cool with someone and you realize there’s no music with them? So we fought on quarantine radio, I don’t know why he got me. I had the Timbaland and Suez Beatz scores, I won 16 to 4. I shouted to Tori Lenz, “My man, right after that, we went to the studio.” That was the time Kovid sank and returned to Miami. We’ve recorded two, the “cold” one was. That’s why I like to make music: if the energy isn’t right with the person, the music never comes out right. We put our energy into it and threw it away. It has been rising ever since.
Who would want to date a person who can’t even spell his name correctly?
It was the director, Iff Rivera. I have been working with him for 10 years. He improved his game, we improved our game. Greatness loves greatness. We went straight from the snowy mountains to the winter bars during the summer. I’m looking at him “What are you doing?” He said, “No, that’s it!”
What was the best memory from that shoot?
The best memory was real people and working at ease. We don’t have to be our own for anyone. I thought we were all laughing and joking. When you watch it you will see the power in the video. Make sure we are in the fleet, day by day. We were dripping on the swag.
You were always great at giving back. Talk about helping to build a hospital in Uganda that serves about half-a million people.
These things are my Oscars and my Grammys. I always think people come to Africa and bring it from Africa. I have never done anything in the depths of Africa where I really had the experience of seeing how they live. When I went and saw the two rooms with 300,000 people, it touched my heart. I came back and made it a mission. I called all my partners The Weekend, Puff, Sirok and said we had to do something about it. A year later, we built a hospital to provide health care to all mothers and babies. Health is a right, it is not a right. It is sad that mothers still have traditional birth control at home and do not take proper care of their children. It’s beyond music and any entertainment. If we have the power to help, why not?
How did you become the first RAP Ambassador of Global Citizen?
This is another Oscar. I love that team. Scream about what they are doing to help the world. I am happy to be a child of that organization – the best thing to do is spread the message, help the kids and take care of the world.
I Stand With Immigrants is an initiative that strengthens the immigration story and highlights the way immigrants have positively contributed to the country. Have you felt personal connection with the organization as an immigrant yourself?
Thank God Congress has approved the DACA program. I know that feeling, I’ve come through it. When I didn’t have the paperwork, I had to drop out of school in French Montana. I’m glad it worked for me, but not everyone will turn French into Montana. Sometimes when your back is against the wall you turn to other things. These dreamers deserve a dream and a future. When someone spreads your legs, it’s not good – especially when you haven’t committed a crime and they prevent you from doing what you dream of. I had a dream when I arrived. They had a dream after all the immigrants came here. To stop the dream coming to that country, it is not fair to them.
What are your career goals right now?
I want to help as many people in the world as possible to achieve a lot of film games, because I have published a documentary. I want to improve and see different things. I still haven’t won a Grammy, although I was nominated for production and wrapping. My idea is to make me harder. As long as there are challenges you have a reason to survive and a reason to dream.