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French Montana first rapper to become Global Citizens Ambassador for work in Uganda

French Montana became the first rapper to be named a Global Citizens Ambassador on Friday night, a testament to The Bronx artist’s charity work in Uganda.

After a trip to Kampala, Uganda brought the poverty of the region into sharp focus, French has worked closely with the community, donating money to hospitals and healthcare for mothers during childbirth and early childhood.

Montana helped start Global Citizen’s #2BeStrong campaign, which calls on African leaders to focus on healthcare for mothers.

French was inspired to help after he took a trip to Kampala, Uganda, where he would end up shooting his “Unforgettable” video with Swae Lee.

He told Newsweek after first visiting Uganda:

“I feel like every mother and child deserves the same care, whether they’re from [the U.S.] or back home in the motherland. It made my heart heavy. I said that when I got back I’d do everything I can to help these mothers.”

The BX rapper donated $100,000 to the Suubi Health Center in Budondo, Uganda. The money will go towards improving healthcare for mothers during childbirth. TMZ reports that several celebs and artists have matched his donation:

“His donation led to a chain reaction of others … The Weeknd, Diddy and Diddy’s Ciroc venture all matched his $100k and Global Citizen estimates some 260,000 people will benefit from the money raised.”

French Montana, who hails from the African country of Morocco, feels a deep connection to the continent.

He recently spoke to BET about hopefully being able to provide inspiration to young Africans,

“Honestly, me just emigrating from Morocco, coming from Africa and making my dreams come true, I just feel like a lot of people around the world feel like there’s hope when they see somebody like me.”

Big ups to French for putting in work where it matters most.

French Montana drops doc about how going to Uganda saved his music career

Before dropping his worldwide hit “Unforgettable” or his latest album, Jungle Rules, French Montana needed another kind of inspiration for his music.

French had lost the people who motivated him the most. Chinx isn’t by his side anymore (RIP) and Max B is still serving time in jail.

French’s “spirit for the music was gone” but his lost spirit forced him to find peace through helping those who needed it most.

In his recent documentary, Project Unforgettable: “My Project, Their Reality”, French explains how Triplets Ghetto Kids and the country of Uganda rekindled his musical spirit.

Peep, Project Unforgettable: “My Project, Their Reality”

During the first couple minutes of the beautiful documentary, French says,

 “I needed something that was gon’ bring me back to life, and when I saw these kids, it kind of blew life into my lungs. I kind of just felt like I wanted to do music again, you know?”

The 30-minute doc is an incredible experience as you get to see Uganda from French’s perspective. Watch as prophet Montana strolls the streets like royalty to the tune of trumpets and changes the realities of many.

Putting the Triplets Ghetto Kids in the “Unforgettable” video is probably the best thing that has ever happened to them. The smiles on their faces prove it. The doc follows them from the slums of Kampala, Uganda to LA to perform with French at the BET Awards.

Since his return from Uganda, French has been able to help the country in so many ways.

During his visit, French met with the community-building Suubi Health Centre, this inspired a partnership with Mama Hope and Global Citizen to launch a global healthcare campaign.

#UNFORGETTABLE helps to raise funds for the Suubi “Hope” Health Centre. So far the campaign has raised nearly $400,000 to complete construction on the maternity clinic.

The donations have been used to construct staff quarters and an extension. By building this extension, the healthcare services will be able to reach 286,000 people.

Do you want to give someone an #UNFORGETTABLE experience? Give back and donate to MamaHope.Org today. French was able to bring healthcare to a community of people and you can help too. 

Triplets Ghetto Kids

The Triplets Ghetto Kids have new lives after ‘Unforgettable’ video

After making an appearance in French Montana and Swae Lee’s “Unforgettable” music video (which has been watched close to half a billion times), the Triplets Ghetto Kids have a newfound hope for a life out of the slums.

Straight out of Uganda’s capital of Kampala, Triplets Ghetto Kids are causing quite the buzz. The dance group comprises of three girls and six boys ranging in age from 6 to 17.

They were nine homeless, impoverished, or parentless children from Uganda but they have found redemption through dancing and music.

Peep the crew

Since their “Unforgettable” music video debut this year, TGK has appeared on Jimmy Fallon and at the BET Awards. Sources also say that they are expected to work with Beyonce soon.

But that isn’t where they started. TGK’s dancing career commenced after fellow Ugandan artist Eddy Kenzo put them in his viral video for “Sitya Loss.”

Peep TGK’s come up in Eddy Kenzo’s “Sitya Loss”

All of the members were struggling to find money for school as most of their parents were jobless. In a recent interview with BBC’s Haider Saleem with group member Fred Tumwesigye (age 13), Tumwesigye said,

“I was really young and I was with my brother Isaac in the village. So we are collecting scrap so we can get school fees and then I talk to the seller so I can get money and I take it to school. We started dancing and then the man come and told us, ‘You have talent. Can I help you? Do you want to go to school? We said, yes. He saw our mom and then we joined Triplets Ghetto Kids.”

Fred wasn’t alone in the struggle trying to find funds to attend school.

Fellow dance crew member, Patricia (age 12) found TGK through the group’s manager, Kavum Dauda who worked at her school,

“My manager was training at my school – music, dance, and drums. One day he told me, ‘Why are you not coming to school some days?’ I explained to him my mother is not working, my father is not working, so they can not afford school fees for me or my brothers.”

There is nowhere to go but up for these kids. The group’s manager Kavum Dadua is also taking the group’s talents beyond dancing, allowing them to experiment with acting and music.

Peep Ghetto Dreams

Dauda never expected these kids to make it big, he was only thinking of Uganda and spreading inspiration to children worldwide. In the interview with BBC, Dauda said,

“I’m very proud of the kids and proud of myself because I didn’t know that this would come to the world. I was thinking only about Uganda. We are representing Africa and the kids all over the world. We are bringing hope to the kids out there hoping to be somewhere in their future.”

From the dirt to the jacuzzi, the Triplets Ghetto Kids are living a truly unforgettable lifestyle

Now they’re getting the recognition they deserve.

Shout out to French for helping the world see their talent.

French Montana calls rappers who release albums with no features ‘weirdos’

French Montana has commented on the recent trend of rappers putting out albums with no features and it’s predictably hilarious.

In a recent interview with Paper magazine, French pointed to the social aspect of rap features, explaining that if he’s chilling with rappers and tells them he’s going to put out an album on his own they’ll stop fucking with him.

Here’s what French said,

“Who sits there thinking about weird shit like [going platinum with no features]? Those people who put albums out by themselves are weirdos. Music is about having fun. If I’m chilling with A$AP Rocky, or chilling with Drake or The Weeknd and we record, and then I have to say, ‘Look here, bro, I’m thinking about dropping this album just by myself’? Artists would stop fucking with you.”

I mean, I guess?

First off, very humbleflex right there from the BX legend to talk about casually chilling with those stars.

But I’m not sure about his logic here. French, you can still maintain your friendships despite not featuring artists on your music! Your friends like you for you, never forget that Mr. Montana.

French does seem to shine best when he has features, a glance at his latest album Jungle Rules does reveal appearances from some of the biggest artists around with Swae Lee, Young Thug, Pharrell, The Weeknd, and Future.

I think the feature thing, or lack thereof, is just an aesthetic choice. Artists who choose to release an entire project without features (J. Cole, Future, 21 Savage) show that they can carry a record by themselves and there’s definitely something to that.

J. Cole fans are to blame for the feature thing becoming a meme with the whole “J. Cole went platinum with no features!” bullshit, but there is a certain skill to be able to drop a rap record without assistance from any other artists.

I’m not sure these dudes are weirdos, but I imagine they view music a little differently than French, who seems to be all about his friendships.

The music week in review: French Montana, Mura Masa, Lana Del Rey, & more

Yerrrr, happy Friday.

With new material from everyone from French Montana, to Shabazz Palaces, to Arcade Fire, it was a delightfully diverse week in releases, and you should have plenty of material to get you through the weekend.

Here’s what you should be bumping right now:

French Montana – Jungle Rules

French Montana has been on a roll. Once “Unforgettable” dropped in April, you just knew the Moroccan-born MC would dominate summer ’17.

Jungle Rules is French Montana’s second studio album, although he’s got plenty of mixtapes on his belt (shoutout the whole Mac & Cheese) series). With features from some of the best artists in hip-hop, including The Weeknd, Pharrell, Quavo, Future, T.I., and even Max B, Jungle Rules is a hell of a party.

Pull up to La Marina this summer bopping to Jungle Rules.

Mura Masa – Mura Masa

Mura Masa, a 21-year-old kid from Guernsey, a tiny island in the English Channel between England and France, has released possibly the best dance-pop record of the year.

Joined by the likes of Damon Albarn, Charli XCX, A$AP Rocky, and Desiigner, Mura Masa weaves bouncy, vibrating synths and steel drum production that compliment his features in a ridiculously smooth fashion.

Mura Masa sounds like if Mount Kimbie, new Calvin Harris, and Disclosure all had a baby and then you sprinkled in some French house and Caribbean vibes, which is to say that it’s the ultimate electronic record.

You can dance and vibe to this record, then all the sudden get a little introspective to the Bon Iver-lite “give me the ground.” This is an extremely impressive debut from the Guernsey native. Mura Masa just became one of the hottest artists in dance music.

Cousin Stizz – One Night Only

Boston’s own Cousin Stizz landed on the map with 2015’s Suffolk County and immediately earned a reputation within the alternative hip-hop ranks.

His laidback flow and infectious punchlines make him a good listen.

He’s a far cry from the ATL trap rap monotony that’s permeated hip-hop as of late, although “Headlock” does feature Migos’ Offset. I won’t count it against him that he has a G-Eazy feature. Everyone makes mistakes.

Shabazz Palaces – Quazarz: Born on a Gangster StarQuazarz vs. The Jealous Machines

Shabazz Palaces have brought back their experimental jazz-hip-hop in the form of two full-length albums. The Seattle natives, Ishmael Butler on the lyrics and Tendai Meraire on the instrumentals, provide the most interesting and out there hip-hip you’ll hear in 2017.

It’s hard to classify their music. There’s definitely a lot of improvisation, yet the music has a distinct precision. It’s jazzy, but also industrial. Lyrical, but rough.

Ever since 2011’s Black Up, Palaces have held it down for the hip-hop heads that think Run the Jewels is mainstream garbage. Gorge yourself on two albums of the genius that is Shabazz Palaces, you may just have your mind expanded, man.

Marty Baller – Baller Nation

Harlem’s own Marty Baller released his mixtape Baller Nation earlier this week and it’s definitely a banger.

With that crucial A$AP Ferg co-sign, Marty Baller has all the right connection to thrive in the NYC hip-hop scene. Marty dispatches trademark Harlem smart-ass bars with a mean delivery on top of trappy, menacing production.

With features from Ferg, Rob Stone, and, Madeintyo, Marty Baller gets some assistance from some of hip-hop’s best up-and-comers.

Lana Del Rey – “Groupie Love” (ft. A$AP Rocky) & “Summer Bummer” (ft. A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti)

Hollister model turned tumblr darling Lana Del Rey dropped two tracks off her upcoming Lust For Life album, due next week, with some interesting features.

The “Video Games” artist enlists A$AP Rocky on both tracks and adds Playboi Carti on the other for the ultimate hypebeast assistance. Both songs have that signature A$AP inflection and combined with Lana’s vapid sad girl voice create this dark trip-hop-pop that’s kind of infectious.

Lust For Life is sure to be an interesting project.

Ty Dolla $ign – “Love You Better” (ft. Lil Wayne & The-Dream)

This is some certified heat.

Ty Dolla, Weezy, and Radio Killaaaa all on one song, man. The thirst is so real as this trio implores a love interest that they can love her better than the other dude in question.

The upcoming Beach House 3 doesn’t have a release date yet from Dolla, but it’s said to be on its way.

Earlier this week, Dolla $ign made headlines by saying he wouldn’t include his talented, imprisoned brother TC on his new album like his previous release Free TC as it allegedly caused TC some trouble with the prison guards.

Regardless, we’re ready for Beach House 3.

Arcade Fire – “Electric Blue”

Everyone’s favorite band that they love to pretend they hate has returned with their first music since 2015.

“Electric Blue” is a little funkier than what we’ve come to expect from Arcade Fire on their recent releases. You still end up getting that Arcade Fire wall of sound, it’s just through new methods. The guitar more percussive, the synths more prominent.

This track will appear on Arcade Fire’s upcoming album Everything Now, slated to drop on July 28th.

Nav & Metro Boomin – “Call Me” & “Perfect Timing”

Nav and Metro Boomin dropped a pair of singles off Perfect Timing, a collaboration album due next week. We’ve seen this kind of move from Metro before as he positions himself as an equal artist alongside an MC and produces the entire album.

Toronto producer/rapper Nav is a master of the lowkey, drug-addled hip-hop that’s so in fashion these days. While he may not be the best rapper of all-time, the impeccable production on these two tracks make Perfect Timing a promising project worth a listen.

Nine Inch Nails – “Less Than”

Nine Inch Nails, the brainchild of the ultra-talented Trent Reznor, was one of the seminal bands of the ’90s.

Reznor back.

After announcing that a new album Add Violence is due next week, Nine Inch Nails released “Less Than,” a track that harkens back to the days of yore with grungy distorted guitars complimented with new-age synths.

There aren’t many more talented or interesting artists than Trent Reznor. Add Violence will surely bring the heat.

Truly Unforgettable: How French Montana took over Summer 17

French Montana is back at it.

After dropping “Unforgettable” back in April, accompanied by Swae Lee on the hook, French has been putting on for the BX and trying to save the world.

“Unforgettable,” with its infectious two-stepping beat and the perfect combination of French and Swae, vaulted up the charts, becoming the highest-charting song in French’s career.

The Coke Boy CEO decided to shoot the video for “Unforgettable” in Kampala, Uganda after being inspired by a video of the Triplets Ghetto Kids dancing.

French told Billboard about his decision to shoot the video in Kampala and the Triplets Ghetto Kids,

“With having gone through living in poverty and being happy with nothing, they channel that through their dance moves and their energy. Them having no TVs and just learning how to dance, it just makes them have their own moves and their own swagger.”

French also spoke about being influenced by his African roots and ability to relate to the kids in Uganda,

“I listen to a lot of African music. I was on the computer going through it, and I ran across these kids. I was a fan and I felt like I saw me in them, ’cause I grew up in Africa when I was their age.”

The video, and subsequent ‘Unforgettable Dance Challenge,’ went viral. Everyone had to join in on the fun.

After his time in Uganda, French Montana decided to donate $100,000 to the Mama Hope Organization to go towards construction on the Suubi Health Center. His donation will also go towards funding local blood banks.

Although French is a certified BX legend, he spent the first 13 years of his life in the northwest African country of Morocco. He was able to recently visit his home country, show out for his wild fanbase there, and pay a visit to his late grandmother’s grave.

Not only will his new album Jungle Rules be the NYC soundtrack of the summer, but French Montana is truly a man of the people.