French Montana on Reviving East Coast Rap: ‘There’s Been A Dark Cloud Over New York’
VIBE.COM: You are enjoying heavy buzz after releasing and being a part of such songs as your current single “Shot Caller,” the Waka Flocka Flame collaboration “Choppa Choppa Down,” and a feature on the Rick Ross track “Stay Schemin’”. Does the success of yourself and other New York artists like Rocky A$AP signals a return of hip-hop prominence for the East Coast?
FRENCH MONTANA: “It’s been so long for a New York artist to really [have an impact] that it seems like there’s been a dark cloud over New York and the East Coast. It’s a blessing that me and other East Coast artists are finally getting our shine again. Artists like Meek Mills (who is from Philadelphia), myself…everybody. We just need more support, that’s all. A song like “Shot Caller” is East Coast…it even has the Lords of the Underground sample from “Funky Child.” But it’s important that we make sure we also make music for everybody else like I did with “Choppa Choppa Down.”
Me and Waka Flocka Flame went in the studio and knocked out 20 songs, and that’s the one they picked. We took it to radio and “Choppa Choppa Down” became huge for me, especially in the [South]. And it helped set up “Shot Caller.” Right now, I’m working with hungry producers. My album is called Excuse My French, and it’s going to come out when I want it to come out [laughs]. That’s the difference between me and other artists. If I want my album to come out next month, it will come out next month. I’m blessed that I have been able to work with a lot of artists like Drake, Rick Ross and Jay-Z and be on a label like Bad Boy. This is what I always wanted to do.”—Keith Murphy