French Montana discusses everything from immigration to the right to healthcare as he chats to GQ Middle East in a candid new interview for their November issue.
The Moroccan-American rapper, who dons an immigration shirt in one of the cover shots, tells the mag: “Immigration means everything to me. It means hope, it means faith, it means a voice for the people that come from different places and build a country – that someone can come from nothing and be something.”
“I didn’t know English until I was 14, 15. In Morocco, I was just singing: I didn’t even know what the words were. Whether it was Tupac, Wu-Tang, Bob Marley. It shows how powerful music is – it’s the only language that people speak worldwide.”
French, real name Karim Kharbouch, adds of his journey to another country: “I’m just happy that I was on both sides of the fence. The side where I was dreaming, and the side where the dream came true.”
The star’s interview also sees him speak about coming across the Ugandan dance group the Triplets Ghetto Kids on YouTube, with them eventually inspiring him to visit the country himself.
He ended up heading to a maternity and children’s health clinic which was severely underfunded.
French says, “It’s not fair. Healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a right. Uganda healed me. There was no other medicine that could have fixed me. I was broken, inside and out.”
The GQ images were shot across Dubai, Beirut, and French’s hometown of Casablanca. The covers are a celebration of Middle Eastern heritage, multiculturalism, as well the power, perseverance and strength of immigrants.