Moroccan born American based Rapper French Montana real name Karim Kharbouch was a ‘broken’ man before discovering a new purpose in life following an uplifting trip to Uganda last year.
The ‘Freaks’ star had secretly been questioning the decisions he made regarding his personal and professional endeavours after a trying few years, during which his close friend, Max B, was handed a 75-year sentence for various felony counts, including conspiracy to murder and robbery, while another friend and fellow MC, Chinx, was murdered in a drive-by shooting in New York in 2015.
“It was the darkest place in my life,” he tells GQ Middle East. “I felt like I was lucky, but I also felt like I was in a deep, black hole. I lost my brothers. I felt left out. I was asking God, ‘Why are you taking everything away from me?’ I thought, ‘Maybe it’s a message. Maybe’.”
He soon came across a series of dance videos on YouTube filmed by a group of Ugandan youngsters known as the Triplets Ghetto Kids, and decided to fly to the East African country and recruit them for his ‘Unforgettable’ music video in March, 2017.
During the trip, French Montana made a host of new friends and spent some time visiting patients at a local healthcare centre, and he admits seeing life through other people’s eyes enabled him to find peace within himself.
“I went to this place that everybody told me not to go to. A place that I had to take 12 shots to get to,” he says adding, “But when I went to this place, it became my first real vacation – because I saw how happy people are with nothing.”
The rapper has since donated much-needed funds to support the medical facility, enabling doctors to expand their reach and provide aid to thousands more people every day, and the philanthropy has helped Montana heal, too.
“Uganda healed me,” French admits adding, “There was no other medicine that could have fixed me. I was broken, inside and out…”.