French Montana has been named the first ambassador of I Stand With Immigrants, a campaign initiative that highlights empowering immigration stories and the ways immigrants have positively contributed to the country.
French, who immigrated from Morocco to NYC as a child, opened up about his immigration journey in a newly released video, discussing the struggles he faced in a foreign country and how they shaped him into the artist and man he is today.
"You're trying to fit into this world that you knew nothing about ... You're trying to mold yourself around this world that somebody just pushed you in," he explains. "When I first came here, they used to show us the skyline; I thought I was going to go to some big penthouse in the middle of 42nd Street. They took us right to the back of the Bronx. You know the Bronx: You got Little Italy, you got the Jews, you have the Africans, you got the Puerto Ricans, you got the Jamaicans. Honestly, that's the best thing that can happen to a person coming up: You get to experience all kinds of cultures."
As part of his ambassador role, French launched the Karim Kharbouch Coding Fellowship Program in partnership with The Knowledge House and immigration advocacy group FWD.us. The program aims to support immigrant youth living in the Bronx by providing education resources.
"On behalf of The Knowledge House, I am grateful to be partnering with French Montana to bring our technology programs to Bronx youth from immigrant families," said Jerelyn Rodriguez, co-founder and CEO of The Knowledge House. "As the daughter of immigrants, I know first hand how important it is to put resources in the hands of people as they work towards realizing the American Dream. Our technology programs have helped an average of 3 out of 4 of our graduates land their first job in tech. With French Montana's support we can make sure hundreds of Bronx youth launch life changing careers in technology."
French has also partnered with FWD.us—the organization behind I Stand With Immigrants—on a special edition ISWI T-shirt. The piece is available online for $25; a portion of the proceeds will go to support DACA renewal fees.
French is now preparing to drop his Montana studio album, the follow-up to his 2017 effort Jungle Rules. The artist recently unveiled the project's cover art as well as a trailer, which you can see below. French previously announced Montana would arrive on his 35th birthday, Nov. 9.