How much do you know about the rapper, whose legal name is actually Karim Kharbouch?
French Montana, a 32-year-old rapper who previously dated Khloé Kardashian, has had several songs hit high on the charts. But with his latest single "Unforgettable," KoKo's former beau — who has been romantically linked to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea — is addressing his little-known background, including where he's from, the details of his parents' marriage, how he grew up, and the meaning behind the name for the track.
The rapper paid tribute to his childhood and his parents by using their wedding photo as the imagery for his latest single, "Unforgettable."
"The picture of my mother and father at their wedding in Africa is my favorite picture. It’s unforgettable for so many reasons since it was the same year I was born and the same year my father was incarcerated for unfortunate circumstances. He named me from jail. After he was released, we were granted US visas and in 1996 I went on my first plane to go to America," French wrote in a lengthy and telling Instagram post.
"I didn’t know any English. It was tough because I thought we were moving into the high rises of NYC, but we ended up in the back streets of the South Bronx," he continued. "It was still better than back home in Morocco, but my father had a hard time and wanted to move back… We were on welfare and she worked overtime to keep us fed, clothed and a roof over our heads."
"I promised my mother that I would hustle and make my accomplishments unforgettable once I found my opportunity," French wrote. "I want other people who might be struggling to know that the sky is not the limit… You can do unforgettable things, so I present to you my single…"
In an attempt to pay tribute to his African roots, French also flew to Uganda, Africa to film the video for the song.
"I listen to a lot of African music. I was on the computer going through it, and I ran across these kids. I was a fan and I felt like I saw me in them, 'cause I grew up in Africa when I was their age," French told Billboard. "I was doing the same thing they were doing. In my head, I was playing 'Unforgettable.' They were just dancing and I fell in love with it and said, 'I gotta find these kids.' It was something new, it was a breath of fresh air."
"With having gone through living in poverty and being happy with nothing, they channel that through their dance moves and their energy," he continued. "Them having no TVs and just learning how to dance, it just makes them have their own moves and their own swagger."
Want to know more about French Montana? Keep reading to find out more about where the rapper came from, how he got his name, and more!
Where is French from originally?
The "Unforgettable" rapper hails from Rabat, Morocco and is of American and Moroccan decent. His parents were married in Africa. After his father was incarcerated, Karim and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 13.
Where does the moniker "French Montana" come from?
Upon moving to the South Bronx, New York City, Karim earned the nickname "French," as he was fluent in both Arabic and French (but not English). The second-part of the moniker didn't come until later in life when he worked as a hustler. "Montana" is allegedly a reference to Tony Montana, the drug lord Al Pacino played in Scarface.