French Montana started off as a battle rapper during his teenage under the name Young French. In collaboration with his close pal Cams, he created a series of street DVDs called Cocaine City inspired from the Smack DVD series, that times’ hit. The series featured major and upcoming rappers interviews, focusing on street music & hip-hop beef.
Initially, as Young French, he used the DVD series for showcasing his talent as an underground artist. The first volume featured Remy Ma, Pee Wee Kirkland among others. What the aspiring artist developed as a means of gaining audiences, quickly became one of the top-selling street DVD series.
The series ran for 8 years from 2002 till 2010, with total 14 volumes, & multiple spinoff films. He collaborated with his childhood friends Droop Pop, Brock and Cheeze, who later became the founding members of Coke Boys. He has revealed that he started taking rap seriously by 2005 that followed the release of his first mixtape entitled French Revolution Vol. 1, that included collaborations with Jae Millz, Mazardi Fox, Tony Yayo and Uncle Murda.
The song Quarter to Eight marked his first collaboration with Rick Ross, Florida-based rapper. Another track Straight Cash marked his 1st underground hit. He came up with the first sophomore release, a mixtape Live From Africa in April 2008. The track Waavvy was his first collaboration with the rapper Max B. around that time, he increasingly began associating with Max B.
His early career period is quite a long, unlike other musical artists. He, the one who believes “passion is a virtue” spent nearly a decade with Cocaine City DVDs. It took longer for him to start his major career in music maybe his passion waited to see more audiences around before making start.
He talked about this saying, “To make that transition from the streets to the music business you have to learn that street isn’t like the music business. In the streets, you can some up overnight. In the music business, that’s not going to happen. So it takes patience.” Coke Boys Records, which was initially called as Cocaine City Records was founded in 2008.