It is not lost on French Montana just how charmed his life in the rap game has been during the past decade.
The Moroccan-born MC, who moved to the Bronx when he was 12, has been a go-to guest, appearing on hits by Rick Ross, Akon, Wale, Meek Mill, Kiko Bangz and others. He's had a No. 2 R&B and Rap smash with "Pop That" (featuring Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne), while the newly released "Freaks," with Nicki Minaj, is beginning its ascent, stoking anticipation for the May 21 release of Montana's debut album, "Excuse My French."
"I'm getting so much love from everybody in the game, and everybody embracing me like they have, it feels good," says Montana, 28, who was born Karmi Kharbouch. "People haven't seen anything like this in awhile. I feel like it's just a breath of fresh air and something the game needed.
"I just appreciate everything and just love all the love people are giving me, and I'm gonna keep runnin'. Sometimes I have to catch myself and realize I'm still a rookie and I still have to do the baby steps."
Montana promises that "Excuse My French," which he recently pushed back five weeks, will be worth the wait. "I feel like you can't rush something that's gonna last forever," he explains. But he's happy that the dance-hall flavored "Freaks" is getting a chance to shine.
"That was a record Wale had and he didn't have an album date," Montana recalls. "I had an album date and he gave it to me. And Nicki Minaj being from my home town, we were talking about doing something together, and this record was it. I wanted to do something different, especially with Nicki on the record with me, and Rico Love produced it.
"The game hasn't had a dancehall song, a Jamaican song like this in so long, and Nicki being from Trinidad and me being from Morocco, that record is international."
French Montana performs Wednesday, March 6, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.SaintAndrewsDetroit.com.
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