Q&A: French Montana On Meeting Diddy, Working With Rick Ross, And The State Of New York Hip-Hop
French Montana, "Shot Caller"
There's been a lot of talk about you bringing New York hip-hop back; on your press release you're quoted as saying, "I wanted to do this for New York rap, and who better than Diddy to help me bring New York rap back." Do you feel that strongly about it?
New York is coming back and I'm excited to be a part of that. You know Puff is a man to make that happen with the New York and Harlem thing. Everyone's talking about bringing New York back and we definitely have that pride that means we want to bring it back. No one really cares about New York at the moment because of the rise of the south. But it's not just me. Now we just need to produce good music.
Is New York hip-hop really in that bad of a state?
I don't think so. We have a lot of talent but other places have a lot of talent now too.
Which other New York rappers do you feel are on the same mission?
Meek MillI'm talking about the whole east coast hereand Uncle Murda and Fred Da Godson. We got a lot of rappers here.
You said Rick Ross is executive producing your album. Do you think that will help you appeal to both New York rap fans and the south?
Nah, I collaborate with everyoneI work with Waka Flocka, with Bun B, with Juicy Jand it's just good music. That's the criteria. Rick Ross don't even sound like he's from down south. I just believe in music.
You moved to New York when you were 13 years old. Were you listening to hip-hop before then?
Yeah, like 2Pac, Biggie, Snoop Dogg. It was the old school.
What was the biggest culture change you noticed when you moved to the Bronx?
In the Bronx it was just the change of culture. Me being from African culture, I had to pick up that speed.
What was the most surprising difference you noticed?