FRENCH’S TRIP OF A LIFETIME
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. ◼