The French Montana Story: Heres How Karim Kharbouch Became A Hip-Hop Star
To succeed in the cutthroat world of rap music, one needs more than just talent. It requires perseverance, commitment, and a little luck. French Montana is one artist who has perfectly embodied all of these traits. With his distinctive fusion of infectious beats and silky rhymes, Montana has established a reputation for himself, rising from modest beginnings in Morocco to the pinnacles of hip-hop glory. He has persevered despite encountering many obstacles and setbacks along the way to becoming one of the most well-known and significant players in the genre. So how did he become well-known in the hip-hop community? Continue reading to learn the tale of this artist’s ascent to stardom.
The Fascinating Beginnings Of French Montana
Karim Kharbouch, better known by his stage name French Montana, was born in Casablanca, Morocco, on November 9, 1984. He is the son of Abdel Kader Kharbouch and Khadija Guled. He grew up playing soccer and listening to rap music at his family’s house. Kharbouch and his family relocated to the South Bronx in New York City in the middle of the 1990s, where he went to elementary and high school. He studied English at Roosevelt and Lehman High Schools while still working as the main provider for his family. Kharbouch’s mother decided to remain in the country with their children despite his parents’ decision to leave for Morocco.
One of the biggest sources of inspiration for Montana, who is proficient in Arabic, French, and English, is parenting. He once owned Selena Gomez’s Calabasas, California property, and resided in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. He married Deen Kharbouch in 2007, however, the couple later separated in 2012 and divorced in 2014. Together, they are parents to a son who was born in October 2010. In June 2018, Montana acceded to American citizenship. He has held tigers as pets and currently keeps a pet monkey named Julius Ceasor because he loves unusual animals.
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French Montana’s Musical Career At Its Inception
French Montana started his career as a battle rapper in the early 2000s under the moniker Young French. He co-created the popular DVD series Cocaine City with his friend Cams. When he was shot in the head outside a recording studio in the Bronx in 2003, he suffered a serious setback.
French Montana persisted in spite of this and released his debut mixtape, French Revolution Vol. 1, in 2007. He also contributed to the mixtapes Coke Wave and Coke Wave 2 with rapper Max B. He joined forces with Maybach Music Group to form a joint venture in 2012 and was signed to Bad Boy Records.
He has frequently collaborated with producer Harry Fraud throughout his career and has put out a number of popular mixtapes and studio albums, including Excuse My French and Jungle Rules. To his overall financial success, popular singles like Pop That and Unforgettable have made important contributions.
The New York Takeover
Because of his versatility, French Montana’s career took a significant step forward. His breakthrough came in 2011 with the release of Shot Caller, which gained a lot of exposure on New York radio stations. Diddy took notice of this and asked French to work with him on the song’s official remix. In 2011, French established a partnership with Maybach Music Group and signed with Bad Boy Records.
With Rick Ross and Drake, he recorded Stay Schemin’ in 2012, which went on to become one of the year’s biggest songs. Excuse My French, French’s debut studio album featured the smash song Pop That with Ross, Drake, and Lil Wayne. It was released in 2013. 2014 would see him and Jennifer Lopez collaborate on the hit single I Luh Ya Papi. After this single, French made appearances on a number of other well-known songs.
The second studio album by French, MC4, was supposed to be released in 2016 but it was postponed because of problems with sample clearance and eventually leaked online. His third studio album, Jungle Rules, was released in 2017, and it featured the smash hit Unforgettable with Swae Lee. Unforgettable would later peak in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
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Touching The Summit
In 2018, French Montana collaborated with Drake on the smash single No Stylist, which was certified Platinum by the RIAA. He also released the song Famous with Adam Levine in the same year. In 2019, Montana embarked on a successful tour and released his third studio album, Montana, which featured the hit Writing on the Wall with Cardi B, Post Malone, and Rvssian.
French collaborated with Pop Smoke, Tory Lanez, and Jack Harlow on the song Twisted. Positive reviews were given to Montana’s Double G featuring Young Thug and the album Coke Wave 4 in 2021. Being at the peak of his career, he keeps putting out new music and working with other musicians.
French Montana’s Numerous Awards And Recognitions
French Montana has achieved numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. He has won BET Hip Hop Awards for Best Collaboration, Duo or Group in 2013 for Pop That and Best Club Banger in 2014 for Don’t Panic, and an iHeartRadio Music Award for Hip Hop Song of the Year in 2016 for All the Way Up.
French Montana has also been nominated for several awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2015 for Excuse My French and a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song in 2016 for Pop That, as well as an MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video in 2013 for Pop That. In addition to these accomplishments, French Montana has received recognition as one of the best and most influential rappers, appearing on lists such as Complex’s 50 Best Rappers of All Time and Billboard’s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Artists.
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Sources: Insomniac, The Vogue, Sony Music
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