French Montana is a Moroccan-born American hip hop artist who is best known for songs like ‘Pop That’ and ‘Unforgettable’ which peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 list and has sold over five million copies in the United States alone.
French Montana was born Karim Kharbouch to Khadija Guled and Abdela Kharbouch in Rabat, Morocco on the 9th of November 1984. For the first thirteen years of his life, Montana lived in his family’s estate just outside the city of Casablanca where he says he played a lot of soccer and would listen to music most of the time.
In 1996 his family migrated to the United States and settled in South Bronx, New York City. He attended Lehman and Roosevelt High School where he learned how to speak English, both in school and on the streets, as he had only known how to speak Arabic and French.
After two years of struggling to make an above descent means of living, Montana’s father opted to go back to Morocco. His mother, however, insisted on staying back in the states with the kids in order to give them a better chance. At the time, she was pregnant with a third child. Following her husband’s departure, young Montana became the family’s breadwinner as they also depended on welfare for financial support.
French Montana, who was at this time a teenager, began creating and selling a series of street DVDs called Cocaine City which featured interviews of established and upcoming rappers as well as a detailed breakdown of street music and beefs in hip-hop. He also began battle rapping on the streets under the moniker of Young French and used the DVDs as a means of showcasing his talent to the public.
Cocaine City grew above expectation to become one of the top-selling street made DVDs of the 2000s. Montana and his friends then transitioned to form Coke Boys Records. He went on to release his debut mixtape titled French Revolution Vol. 1 in 2007 featuring collaborations with artists like Rick Ross, Tony Yayo, and Uncle Murda.
He released a second mixtape titled ‘Live From Africa’ in 2008 before doing two collaborative mixtapes with rapper Max B. By 2012, French Montana had gotten a following which led him to be featured in that year’s XXL Freshman Class as well as to a joint venture deal between P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records and Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group.
French Montana was subsequently featured on the hook of Ross’ ‘Stay Schemin’ before he dropped ‘Pop That’, his first single off his debut album; ‘Excuse My French’. The song which featured Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross went on to become a summer anthem, peaking at number 2 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B and Rap chart. His second single; Freaks featuring Nicki Minaj and third single ‘Ain’t Worried About Nothin’ was well received by fans which led to the commercial success of the debut album.
All this time, Montana kept on releasing mixtapes, with his seventeenth mixtape being released in January 2014. He has so far made a total of twenty mixtapes and two studio album. The second album titled Jungle Rules was released in July 2017 with its first single being the hit track ‘Unforgettable’ which features Swae Lee.
French Montana is a naturalized American citizen but an ethnic Moroccan with possible links to Somalia through his mother who is said to have a parent from there. In the general sense, Montana can also be referred to as a black man since he is ultimately from Africa.
Parents & Brother
As stated above, French Montana’s parents are Khadija Guled and Abdela Kharbouch. From his late teenage years, Montana only had the pleasure of his mother’s company since his father had opted to head back to Morocco after failing to find his feet in the United States. The pair, however, reunited in 2012 when Montana flew back home for the first time in 14 years.
French Montana has two brothers; Zack and Ayoub Kharbouch. Ayoub is currently completing his high school education while Zack serves as the president of Coke Boys Records.
French Montana’s Wife and Son
French Montana was previously married to Deen Kharbouch. The couple got married in 2007 but separated only five years later in 2012 over accusations of Montana abandoning his family due to his work. They finalized their divorce in 2014.
Together, the couple shares a son named Kruz Kharbouch born in 2010.
Height, Weight, And Other Facts
Birth Name: Karim Kharbouch
Stage Name: French Montana
Date of Birth: November 9, 1984
Place of Birth: Rabat, Morocco
Height: 6 feet 3 inches
Weight: 89 kg
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio