French Montana, from illegal immigrant to global rap star

June 19, 2023 – 09:00 – Culture


Born in Morocco, Karim Kharbouch, French Montana, left the kingdom with his family in the late 1980s. At the age of thirteen, he ended up in the South Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City in the United States. The rapper experienced the harsh realities of illegal immigrants firsthand before later achieving massive success.

Today, French Montana is one of the most popular rappers in the world and the most streamed African artist. But before he became famous, he had to go through many hardships as an illegal immigrant. His determined path was chronicled in the documentary “For Khadija” produced by Diddy and Drake. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 16, with a special screening by Robert De Niro.

Also read: “For Khadija”: French Montana honors her mother (video)

“When I was 13 years old, my family immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. Like millions of other people who dreamed of opportunity, freedom, and the opportunity to make your mark in this world. I remember when I was 17 years old when I discovered I had no papers. My family had to learn How to navigate the immigration system at a time when I had dreams of going to college and playing baseball.I didn’t have a registration number.I couldn’t get a scholarship yet I did a job.So far.I know I was lucky to go down that road.I did.Thank you! God,” French Montana says in the documentary.

Also read: French Montana, the most listened-to African artist

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The rapper talks about his life path, all its ups and downs and wants to inspire others who are going through the same thing he experienced as an immigrant in the United States.

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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