French Montana – Before He Was Famous
Before They Were Famous
French Montana – Before He Was Famous
Before French Montana signed with P Diddy’s label and became an official brand ambassador for his Ciroc vodka.
Before divorcing his wife of 7 years then dating Sophia Body, Trina, and Khloe Kardashian.
Before French Montana had bottles thrown at him while performing Funkmaster Flex’s birthday party by a rival rap crew led by Jim Jones
Before forming the rap group the Coke Boys, producing the Cocaine City DVD series, and releasing 20 mixtapes, bringing his net worth to an estimated 8 million dollars.
French Montana grew up in Morocco and was 13 when his family moved to the Bronx. Life there wasn’t easy for any of them, and it was made even more difficult when French’s father abandoned them 2 years later. With no means to support themselves, French turned to drug dealing, and just as he began gaining momentum in his rap career he was shot in the head. Sheesh, not quite the American dream his family had hoped for. But don’t worry, it didn’t slow him down for getting his career off the ground although I do blame that bullet for his decision to date a Kardashian.
Karim Kharbouch was born just outside Casablanca, Morocco on November 9, 1984. Growing up on his spacious family estate, Karim spent his days listening to American rap music and kickin soccer balls with his older brother Zack.
In 1996 his mother and father decided to move their family to the US hoping to make a better life for their kids. They settled in the South Bronx and Karim, who only spoke Arabic and French, started learning English on the streets of New York. He continued his education at Lehman High, then Roosevelt High, where his language barrier quickly earned him the nickname ‘French’… which isn’t the most creative name. But hey, it stuck!
The transition from sprawling Moroccan hills to cramped apartments wasn’t easy for Karim’s father and after 2 years he wanted to go back home. Karim’s mother insisted they stay in New York, sure they had better opportunities there; she was also pregnant with their third son. His father ended up leaving for Morocco anyway, abandoning Karim when he was only 14.
With no means of supporting themselves Karim started hustling and later dropping out of school while his mother went on welfare. He also started rapping under the name Young French alongside his good friend Cams. The two then had an idea to put together a rap DVD, where they would interview emerging hip hop artists, report on the newest beef and use it as a platform for some of their own tracks.
They released ‘Cocaine City’ when they were 18 and it quickly became one of the hottest-selling DVD’s on the street. Soon his friends Droop Pop, Cheeze, and Brock had joined French, and together, they formed the Coke Boys.
French’s plan had worked, and demand for his music was growing. But he was still caught up in the dangers that come along with drug dealing. One day in 2003 after leaving the studio, French was attacked by two men and shot in the head. Not only did one of the gunmen end up killing the other one, French actually survived the attack. Making these two the worst assassins of all time and turning French into a certified badass.
The bullet wasn’t fatal but it did take several weeks of treatment for French to recover. In 2005 he began work on his first mixtape while also continuing to produce his ‘Cocaine City’ series. Two years later he debuted French Revolution Vol.1, and was even able to get Rick Ross to guest on one of the tracks.
His next tape, Live From Africa marked the beginning of his relationship with Harlem-based rapper Max B, and the birth of one of the most infamous rivalries in the underground New York scene. At the time Max was still signed to Jim Jones’ ByrdGang; a group French showed getting their asses kicked in his Cocain City vol 4.
After that jab, Jim hinted he was involved with the attack on French’s life, which probably wasn’t true but was good for publicity. Soon Max B and French had teamed up on a mixtape, and were trading shots with Jones’ team. In 2009 Max would be found guilty of robbery and murder conspiracy charges, and sentenced up to 75 years in jail.
While all this was happening, French had caught the attention of Akon and the two worked on a few tracks together. Akon actually ended up signing him, but a few business issues with his label forced him to drop Montana.
It didn’t seem to slow French down any, because a year later he was releasing his 10th mixtape and this time he had some big weight behind it. Three 6 Mafia, Akon, Fat Joe, Gucci Mane and Wakka Flokka Flame all made appearances on it, and the single ‘Choppa Choppa Down’ was a massive hit in the south.
Released in 2010, the track quickly made it onto radio and was regular club banger in the south that year. From there he was approached by Rick Ross, and soon after P Diddy who signed him to Bad Boy Records and Maybach Music Group. And the rest of the story, you know the story – because this is Before They Were Famous
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