Just like I reported over a week ago, New York’s rapper French Montana signed a deal with Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. Yesterday, the Bronx native appeared on BET’s 106 & Park alongside Diddy, to make the official announcement. Billboard.com’s The Juice caught up with Montana, a few hours before he appeared on 106 & Park. During his interview, Montana talked about his success as an underground artist, releasing mixtapes, signing to Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, other offers and much more. Below are some excerpts:
On his success as an underground artist.
“I felt like I couldn’t reach any higher on the indie level,” said the MC, who has been releasing mixtapes since 2007. “Nobody took the indie level to where I took it, with songs actually on Billboard. I did tours. I did everything I could do.”
On keep releasing mixtapes to build anticipation for his upcoming album.
“They want me to pick the release date, but I feel like it should be whenever the time is right… definitely next year,” French Montana said. “First album’s gotta be a classic. All the greats’ first albums are. I want mine to be like a ‘Doggystyle.’”
On his rumored million-dollar deal.
“This game is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Believe nothing you hear and everything you see,” French Montana says about the recent million-dollar deals rumored to have been given to up-and-comers. “When I took my deal, I knew how I was going to work it and pay it back. I didn’t take it like it was quick come up. I think a lot of people look at it like that but it’s not; you owe that. There’s nobody giving it to you for free. The bonus is the only thing you don’t pay back. Everything else is recouped.”
On his offers from Rick Ross, Kanye West and Jay-Z.
“It’s different with me because it wasn’t just one label that offered me [a] deal,” French Montana told The Juice. “I had offers from everybody so when I made the choice, I made the choice I was [most] comfortable with. I don’t judge a person from what people say about them. I judge a person by my own relationship with them.” ”The deal [with Diddy] just felt right and it felt like it was the right thing to do,” he said. “I felt like I can make a change with this for the music culture that I came from.”
Follow me @donbleek88