Bad Boy Records’ French Montana recently spoke on his pre-fame rap days as a battle rapper and why he opted out of penning lyrical bars to create instant radio hits.
Although known for catchy hooks these days, Montana promised he could still pen a mean 16 any day of the week.
“A lot of people don’t know when I came up, I came up battling,” French revealed in an interview. “I came up as just a regular rapper. I have the same history as everybody had. I grew up studying bars. It wasn’t nothing for me to go bar-for-bar, get lyrical, this and that. But I couldn’t make money being lyrical so when I threw my swag with the mix, the money started coming in. So I said, ‘Guess what? I’ma do this but I can get there if it really have to be there. It’ll just take me a day to write 16 bars’ and every word you heard is gonna be ‘Whoo. Whoo. Whoo.’ You know?” (“Nardwuar”)
Earlier this year, French said he would rather place his expertise in writing rap songs people can relate to instead of focusing on lyricism.
“Obviously, I don’t be trying to get lyrical,” Montana said in an interview. “It’s not a secret. I just make music. I love the feeling. I wake up feeling f*cked up, I’ll make a f*cked up song. I will go through one thing that somebody else will go through and just be like, yo, my fans will grow to love me, ‘He’s going through what I’m going through.’ I feel like that’s how you get the core audience. That’s why I feel like my sh*t is the best because it’s my life. I’m not perpetrating, I’m not saying sh*t to sound good, I found a way to make my life and my music and people love it.” (Xclusives Zone)
Back in 2010, Atlanta’s Soulja Boy Tell Em said he had no interest in being a lyrical emcee.
In XXL’s November 2010 issue, on stands now, SB tells us he has grown as an MC. “I can’t keep playin’ around, because if you keep playin’ around, people are gonna think you’re a joke,” he said in the piece, written by contributor Matt Barone. “At some point, you have to get serious.” But don’t get it twisted, Soulja doesn’t wanna be the next Lupe Fiasco. “I don’t want to be super-Lupe-Fiasco-lyrical and n*ggas don’t know what the f*ck I’m talking about,” he added. “I want to be the best,” he continued. “I want to be recognized in that category where I’m nominated for Best Rapper with Jay-Z and Kanye and Wayne. I wanna get a Grammy. I want Best Rap Album of the Year… I’ve made millions of dollars off of doing my style, but, hey, I can rap, too.” (XXL Magazine)
Last September, Frech gave some industry tips to help artists avoid losing money.
“You can’t beef with people because it [will] scare money away. In the streets you can strongarm people and take money but you can’t do that in the industry,” French said in an interview. “That’s why I stay away from beef. I used to be enemies with everybody, now I’m just cool with everybody. You have to learn to get more money like that.” (Complex)
Check out French Montana’s interview: