In Touch (USA) - - In Tiuch -

French Mon­tana tells In Touch about an epic jour­ney.

French Mon­tana was watch­ing videos on Youtube when he hap­pened upon a group of kids “danc­ing bare­foot in the mud.” In­spired by their smil­ing faces and joy­ous moves set against the back­drop of an im­pov­er­ished Ugandan neigh­bor­hood, the rap­per de­cided to seek them out. A month later, this past March, he was in Africa. There, 3,000 miles south­east of his na­tive Morocco ( he and his fam­ily moved to the Bronx in New York City when he was 13), he filmed the video for his hit song

“Un­for­get­table” along­side the Triplets Ghetto Kids. In ad­di­tion to bond­ing with the nine young dancers, who he later brought to the U. S. for a per­for­mance at the BET Awards, the rap­per (real name: Karim Khar­bouch), 32, says he was trans­formed by the trip. “It was just a beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ence,” he tells In Touch. “You see these peo­ple who have noth­ing, but they’re happy.” The mu­si­cian, who’s since raised more than $220,000 to fund a Ugandan health cen­ter, talks to In Touch’s Ja­clyn Roth about his new muses, dat­ing mem­bers of Hol­ly­wood’s A-list and his (very!) sur­pris­ing go-to karaoke song.

How would you say your trip to Africa changed you? FM: It re­minded me of where I came from, and I think at the end of the day I needed that re­al­ity check. We have ev­ery­thing here and we’re still sad. It taught me that if you’re not rich in your heart, you’ll never be rich.

You’ve taken the Triplets Ghetto Kids un­der your wing. FM: When I saw them, I saw my­self when I was young. I came from the same slums. I feel like a fa­ther fig­ure to them; I feel like we all need role mod­els.

Your son, Kruz, is 7. How has fa­ther­hood changed your life? FM: When you have kids, there’s a whole char­ac­ter shift. You care about their lives more than yours, and you have some­one to live for.

Is your son like you? FM: He’s like me on steroids! He loves school, and he loves sports — bas­ket­ball, swim­ming, football. It’s a beau­ti­ful thing.

You’ve been linked to some very fa­mous ladies [see box, be­low]. Any plans to set­tle down? FM: I’m very fo­cused on my work right now. I think there will be a time when I’ll want to set­tle down and have more kids but I’m 90 per­cent a “no” on get­ting mar­ried. I feel like it’s a just a busi­ness con­tract or a piece of pa­per.

Are you still close with your ex Khloé Kar­dashian? FM: She’s one of the most beau­ti­ful peo­ple I’ve met in my life, so I al­ways have love for her. We’re cool.

Nice. Look­ing ahead, where do you see your­self in 10 years? FM: Happy! Some­where on a farm with an­i­mals, just en­joy­ing life to the fullest. ◼

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