ESPN Music: French Montana
October, 26, 2012
By Jared Zwerling | ESPN.com
Shareif ZiyadatTthe Moroccan-born and NYC-raised rapper once played against NBAers Luol Deng and Jarrett Jack.French Montana used to play with and against some of the best basketball talent in New York City, when he was running with the popular Gauchos and Riverside AAU teams as a teen.
Now, the Moroccan-born and NYC-raised rapper is pumping up his former teammates and competitors -- some of them now in the NBA -- with his single "Pop That," one of the hottest songs in the country. Right now, the club-thumping track, which features Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, can be heard from NFL stadiums to NBA arenas to the headphones of your favorite players.
Kanye West proclaimed Montana, 27, one of his favorite rappers; Drake tapped him to open up his Club Paradise Tour this year. French has also been in the studio with Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey, and has Diddy and Rick Ross executive-producing his debut, "Excuse My French," which is slated for a winter release.
Last week at Diddy's NYC recording studio, Daddy's House, ESPN Playbook had a chance to sit down with Montana. After about a 45-minute wait -- "Traffic, man," he said -- Montana walked in with a small entourage, holding a Red Bull and wearing his trademark dark vintage Versace sunglasses.
When asked what he was up to in the city, he said: "I came into town to do this ESPN interview!"
After many years removed from competitive sports, he was excited to take a trip down memory lane.