Pardon My French
Bronx MC French Montana talks Diddy, the Knicks and Kevin Durant.
by Rodney King
French Montana is New York hip-hop right now. The Bronx native made a name for himself with a slew of mixtapes and underground DVDs, quickly becoming one of the brightest stars on the NYC underground scene. After a few additions to his team, namely Deb Antney, Rick Ross and Diddy, French is now one of the fastest rising stars in hip-hop, period. His current hit “Shot Caller” has taken over radio and anticipation over his debut album “Excuse My French” is at an all-time high.
SLAM had the chance to speak with French about his signing to Bad Boy, why he was never a big New York Knicks fan and his why he’s similar to Kevin Durant.
SLAM: Congratulations on signing with Bad Boy. How did you hook up with Diddy?
French Montana: It was really just a lot of hard work and being in the right place at the right time. You know Diddy is a legend, he’s been doing this for years. He’s helped me to stop paying attention to the little things and focus on the big money.
SLAM: How did you get into rapping? What made you want to make that a career?
FM: Rapping was always one of my hobbies. When I found out that I could make money doing it I realized I could make this a career and love what I’m doing everyday. That’s how you last in this game, you have to love what you do.
SLAM: You made yourself a name really as a indie. Do you feel like signing to Diddy and having a major machine behind you will help or hurt you?
FM: Only help. I feel like I took this independent thing as far as I could go on my own and could only go as high as I went. I feel like except for cats like Tech9 and 3-6 Mafia no one did it independently like I did. Even with them, they were working for 10 years before they finally got their look. I never looked at it as if you’re signed to a label that everything is different. Nothing is really different. You still have boss whether if your indie or not. You always have a boss to answer to.
SLAM: Initially, fans thought that you were signed to Maybach Music Group. What’s your relationship to Rick Ross right now?
FM: My deal is actually with Bad Boy and Maybach Music. Ross will be executive producing my album with Diddy.
SLAM: You were recently announced as a nominee for the XXL Freshman cover. How did you feel when you heard that?
FM: It felt great. I felt like it was a longtime coming. I felt like really I should’ve been on it last year, but it is what it is. I’m excited that I’m finally getting the looks that I should’ve gotten earlier in my career.
SLAM: So what’s going on with Max B? Is there a chance we will hear him on your album?
FM: Oh yeah! I got 2 songs that I saved with Max on it that will be on the album.
SLAM: So, now to the real questions. How are them Knicks going to do this year?
FM: (Laughs) They’re going to be good. They’re young and they got that energy right now. They’re going to bring a championship home soon.
SLAM: Have you always been a big Knicks fan?
FM: No. I was never a big Knick fan. I don’t know anybody who was a big Knick fan growing up. Our generation, we had a Knick team that was on the other end of things. Starks left, LJ was done, and Ewing’s legs were turning to water; no one was really behind the Knicks. I was actually a big Kobe and Steve Francis fan. I am a fan of the underdogs, always.
SLAM: What player in the League right now resembles you the best right now?
FM: Kevin Durant. He’s doing the unexpected like me. He’s putting up all the points for his team and carrying them. I feel like, he’s going to realize that he needs some help to win a Championship and he’s going to go get a Phil Jackson and find a Kobe to play alongside. You can only go so long without a team. You need a team around you to win and he’ll find that out.
French Montana is the newest member of the Bad Boy team. His debut album “Excuse my French” executive produced by Diddy and Rick Ross drops soon, and his mixtape “Mac and Cheese 3” is coming soon.