The rapper/producer is one of the most popular artists on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and YouTube. His latest album, Beerbongs & Bentleys, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, marking his third straight number one debut. He also had three songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, including “Unforgettable”, featuring Drake.
Montana’s career began in 2005, when he signed with Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace label. In 2007, he released his self-titled debut mixtape, followed by 2008’s El Dorado. After signing with Def Jam Recordings in 2009, he dropped the critically acclaimed 2010 EP, Excuse My French. He released his major label debut studio album, Mac & Devin Go To High School in 2011, and continued releasing albums every few years since.
In 2013, he collaborated with Lil Wayne on the single “Pop That,” and later worked with Kanye West on the track “No Church in the Wild.” He also performed alongside Jay Z on Beyonce’s Lemonade video. On July 25, 2018, Montana announced that he was joining forces with fellow rappers 21 Savage and Playboi Carti for a joint project called Coke Boyz. They are expected to release their first collaborative song, titled “Coke Boys,” during the summer of 2019.
Karim Kharbouch was raised by his mother and grandmother in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. His father died when he was young, and he never knew him. When he was 10, his mother moved the family to New York City, settling in the South Bronx neighborhood. There, he lived in public housing, attended public schools, and learned English.
French Montana began his career as battle rapper in his teens, under the name Young French, while attending high school in Brooklyn. He later moved to Miami where he met fellow New Yorker Cam’ron, and together they formed rap duo Project Pat & Bigga Rankin’. They recorded several songs together including “Patty Cake”, “Let Me See Your Dick”, and “I Got My Own Shit”. After releasing a few singles, the pair parted ways.
In 2001, French relocated to Los Angeles, California and joined up with DJ Drama, another New York native, to form the group 213, which became known for its aggressive brand of West Coast gangster rap. The group consisted of French, along with artists such as Lil Wayne, T.I., B.G., Tyga, Slim Thug, Webbie and others. Their debut album, Da Drought 3, was released in 2004. Although it did not chart well, the album gained some notoriety due to the song “Tie My Hands”, featuring 50 Cent, and “Hustler Musik”, featuring Eminem.
After the success of Da Drought 3, French left 213 and set out on his solo path. His second release, 2005’s Excuse My French, failed to match the success of Da Droughts predecessor, peaking at #52 on the US R&B Albums Chart. However, the lead single from the album, “Shoot ‘Em Up” (featuring Rick Ross), peaked at #3 on the U.S. Rap Songs chart. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).