In the other cover story, French Montana, whose debut disc, Excuse My French, drops on April 16, chatted about himself, his hopes for the album and his relationship with rapper 50 Cent to even reflecting on the day he was shot in the head.
On the inspiration behind his music:
“I just appreciate music, man,” he says. “I listened to so much stuff over the years. [And] there’s music that I hear currently and I think ‘I love this’ and I love it for it what it is. And there’s music I heard back in the day that I loved in the same way. Who am I to say that because these people did it a long time ago, it’s better than right now? I just appreciate music as a whole.”
“My success came so fast — and it’s different,” James says modestly. “A lot of times in life when we don’t understand something, 8 out of 10 times, we’re gonna go negative before we go positive. It’s very rare that something happens that you don’t understand and you [respond with] ‘Oh, that’s good.’ You’re gonna think it’s bad because you don’t understand it. And with misunderstanding, comes negative thoughts. That’s just how life is. It’s something to get used to. But it is what it is. I gotta do me.”
“Lots of [older rappers] gave me their fair share of [praise] — [saying] they’re proud of me and [telling me] to just do me,” James explains. “Whatever that consists of — just do me, because they see the originality in it. They understand it because they’ve been down this road. When you’re a real listener of music, and not just a radio type of person, you get a better understanding of my music, because you’ll listen to it for what it is. Then you’ll be all right. Most people that come out usually sound like someone. But I really can’t think of a rapper that I sound like. I really have my own unique style.”
On what comes to mind when making music:
“I didn’t do anything too crazy when it comes to making this music,” he adds. “I just believed in my sound and I believed in my lyrics. It was easy for me to believe because all I did was rap about my life. I feel like I have a good ear for beats, picking the right beats and I’m big on sound placement — and it came out dope. It didn’t matter to me what anyone said, it was dope as hell to me. And it ended up getting me pretty far, pretty fast. And I thank God for it.”
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