French Montana is on the home stretch. The Bad Boy rapper’s debut Excuse My French is just about one month from release (May 21), led by the ubiquitous twerk tune “Pop That” featuring Lil Wayne, Drake and Rick Ross. Relaxing in his hometown NYC, French spoke to Hive about his new album as well as the plethora of other projects he has on the horizon, including collaborations with Florence Welch, the Weeknd and every rapper’s favorite Disney tyke, Miley Cyrus.
Before we started the interview, you said that your debut album is like filming the new Avatar. What does that mean?
It’s a jungle out here. I’ve been in the jungle, just trying to watch my bait. I’m that thing [character] that ran out and ended up an Avatar and had to run away from everything. [Laughs.]. That n*gga that had the long ponytail; I’m him.
Are you a sci-fi nerd?
I love that movie though [Avatar]. Like 300, that movie. Certain movies. Not too sci-fi, not too crazy.
You should totally watch Game of Thrones then. It’s fantasy but with tons of sex scenes. You’d like it.
Yo. I fuck with [that]. That’s the realness. Damn.
Excuse My French is available on pre-order this week. Honestly, how many copies will you be buying for yourself?
Probably about… I’mma buy me enough to give out when I go out on tour. Like, a hundred out of my pocket. That’s $10 a piece. I’ll have the label buy a 1000 or something and I’ll take it from them. What I’mma buy? A hundred.
Do you think Excuse My French will be well received from the onset or will it be a slow burn?
I don’t know how it is but it doesn’t matter what it sells. It’ll still be a slower burn because of the way the game is. I mean, look at Lil Wayne who went from selling a million [for Tha Carter III] the first week to selling 200,000 [for I Am Not A Human Being II]. I feel like the game’s not the same. It’s not the art. You just got to have a good product. The only thing that’s gonna sell is good product.
Um, we will. Definitely with the Weeknd. That’s one of Abel [the Weeknd]’s closest friends. He on my album. We’re shooting a video next week.
You and the Weeknd are close; you’re wearing a black diamond “XO” chain right now that he gave you. For those who haven’t met the mysterious singer, what’s he like in person?
That’s my friend. We chilling. He cool, he humble. He’s not really star-struck. He don’t take his stardom like … he’s just a regular human being. He just wants to chill, smoke.
Speaking of friends, I saw you hanging out with Miley Cyrus at SXSW this year. How the hell did that happen?
That’s my dog. That’s my peoples. We became friends at the Clive Davis Grammy party. I was sitting there with Puff. She was sitting there with Wiz [Khalifa]. She just kept looking at me laughing, I kept on looking at her laughing. I said, “What you laughing at?” She said, “I know you high like me.” After that, we became mad cool. I went over to the studio, just kicking it.
So you’re going to collaborate with Miley Cyrus?
Yeah. We working on something now. That’s just cool peoples.
I was stalking you on Instagram earlier today and I saw that you were just at Disney World wearing a Goofy hat. How was that?
Anything to make my son smile. I was chilling with my son. He thought I was Goofy. It was my first time there. I got on more rides than him.
Did you get to cut the line at Disney? I’m sure there’s Coke Boyz all-access.
Nah. They ain’t care. It was kind of like, packed, so we definitely had the Express Pass.
Your son is featured on your album artwork, but do you actually let him listen to your music?
Of course. Of course. He knows my music. Sometimes he calls me “Karim,” sometimes he calls me “French Montana.” Me and him play. We got a great relationship.
You’re affiliated with several camps including Maybach Music Group. Any thoughts on Rick Ross’ controversial lyrics on “U.O.E.N.O.” and his subsequent falling out with Reebok?
I feel like a lot of people did worse than that and people didn’t judge them. They could’ve taken it light on him, understanding that it was a mistake. People make mistakes; we all human. That’s about it. As far as Ross, I know him personally. I know he’s a great guy. He’s like a big brother to me and I’m a big fan of Reebok. I can’t wait for them to cut me one of them big checks.