Karim Kharbouch (born November 9, 1984) better known by his stage name French Montana, is an American rapper and singer of Moroccan descent. He is the founder and CEO of Cocaine City Records. In 2012, he signed a joint venture recording deal with Maybach Music Group and Bad Boy Records. Montana is known for his frequent collaborations with Max B, and more recently with Rick Ross along with his group Coke Boys, which consists of rappers Chinx Drugz, Cheeze and Flip. His debut album Excuse My French is set to be released on March 12, 2013.
2002 - 2011: Cocaine City Records
In 2002, along with his friend, Cokeboy Los, French created a series of street-flavored mix tapes called 'Cocaine City' after drawing inspiration from the 'Smack' DVD series. Under the name Young French he used the DVDs as a means of showcasing his talent as an underground artist. To gain a broader fan base, French incorporated interviews with major artists, as well as some up and comers. The first edition in the series included Pee Wee Kirkland and Remy Ma alongside French himself among others. What started out as simply a medium for developing an audience quickly grew into one of the top-selling "street DVDs". The series ran for 8 years between 2002 and 2010, with a total of 14 editions being released.
In 2009, French signed a deal with Akon's Konvict Muzik record label, but later left the company in 2011 due to album delays. Montana was subsequently reportedly close to signing a deal with Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group (MMG). There were also reports that he would join Kanye West's GOOD Music label.
2011 - present: Bad Boy Records/Maybach Music Group and debut album
In December 2011, Montana signed a record deal with P. Diddy's Bad Boy Records and Interscope Records. According to French, of the many major labels that were courting him, Maybach Music Group would have been his second choice had he not signed with Bad Boy. However, on January 2, 2012 while in the studio with Rick Ross, Montana announced that he had signed a joint venture deal with Bad Boy Records and Maybach Music Group. Rick Ross and Diddy are set to executive produce his debut album. French was featured on XXL's Freshman Class of 2012 alongside Future, Kid Ink, Danny Brown, Macklemore, Don Trip, Hopsin, Iggy Azalea, Roscoe Dash and Bad Boy label mate MGK. However, he later revealed to Sway Calloway on RapFix Live that he almost turned down the cover opportunity, feeling he "deserved it two years ago" and that he had surpassed the current crop of rap rookies. It was announced that his debut album Excuse My French would be released on March 12, 2013 and his mixtape Mac & Cheese 3 was released on November 19, 2012. French also plans to release mixtape with fellow rapper Future titled Medusa. "Marble Floors" which features Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz was released as the second single from Excuse My French.
According to French, the rappersTupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G, 50 Cent, and the Wu-Tang Clan were among the hip hop artists that he listened to while growing up. He also considers himself a general music lover.
Feud with 50 Cent
On October 10, 2012 French Montana started a feud with G-Unit CEO 50 Cent from an interview with Complex.com. "Yeah. You can't beef with people because it'll scare money away. In the streets you can strong arm people and take money but you can't do that in the industry," French said. "I feel like beef hurt him. I feel like it helped Ross unite people," he explained using 50's feud with Rick Ross as an example. "That's why Maybach Music is one of the biggest labels. It just makes sense...Of course, Ross is on his fifth album. And like I said, he's only getting bigger. This is going to be Ross' first platinum album. He never went platinum. So when 50 came up, 50 sold 10 million. Then after his first album he just kept on going down. You think 50 could come out and sell 10 million now?" Later that day, 50 Cent responded to the interview via Twitter, tweeting "French Montana you ain't Shit boy. You out your league talking about me you hoe.i read your little interview what the fucx is you high." and "French your Shit so weak you never had a song by your self fool. Ain't nobody's waiting to hear your verse. Girl." They would then trade insults over twitter.
Later on November 24, 2012 in an interview with DJ Drama on his Shade 45 radio show, French Montana insulted 50 Cent, calling him a "donkey" and proclaimed that he is the most important person on Interscope, where he and 50 are both signed. On November 30, 2012 50 Cent claimed that French Montana helped him put together the 2009 video "A Psychic Told Me" that took aim at DJ Khaled and his family. "Frenchie, they got me the tape," 50 accused when he appeared on Power 106's Big Boy's Neighborhood in Los Angeles that morning. "They got me the tape of his mother's house, where his moms work at, the other cribs, the studios, stuff like that." Later that day, French started a sales challenge with 50's upcoming album, Street King Immortal with his, Excuse My French saying they should drop their albums the same day. He also seemed to harshly criticize 50's single "My Life" in another tweet.
- 2007: French Revolution Vol. 1 (Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2008: Live From Africa (Hosted by Evil Empire) 
- 2008: Coke Wave(with Max B; Hosted by DJ Whoo Kid)
- 2009: Coke Wave 2 (with Max B; Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2009: The Laundry Man(Hosted by Evil Empire & Big Mike)
- 2009: Mac Wit Da Cheese (Hosted by Big Mike)
- 2009: The Laundry Man 2(Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2009: The French Connection
- 2009: Cocaine Konvicts: Gangsta Grillz(Hosted by DJ Drama)
- 2010: Mac & Cheese 2 (Hosted by Evil Empire, Self & Big Mike)
- 2010: Coke Boys(Hosted by DJ Drama,DJ Diggz,DJ Lust)
- 2010: Cocaine & Caviar
- 2011: Mister 16 (Casino Life)(Hosted by DJ Holiday)
- 2011: Cocaine & Caviar 2
- 2011: Coke Boys 2(Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2011: Coke Boys Run NY (with Chinx Drugz; Hosted by ItsBizkit, Trapemasters Inc & Evil Empire)
- 2011: Lock Out(with Waka Flocka Flame; Presented by DJ Drama & DJ Green Lantern)
- 2011: Cocaine Mafia (with Juicy J and Project Pat; Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2012: Coke Boys 3(Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2012: Mac & Cheese 3 (Hosted by Evil Empire)
- 2013: Medusa (with Future)