New York hip hop has been looking for a new rapper to lead the city back to the forefront of the rap game. The New York hip hop scene was once filled with many hitmakers, led by Jay-Z, but has dwindled tremendously over the past few years. Every new rapper to emerge from New York City has been hailed as the next big thing. While critics were searching for the next rapper to emerge from New York, French Montana was putting in the necessary work.
Originally from France, French Montana recloated to The Bronx, New York in 1996 and has represented New York City ever since. For nearly a decade, French Montana has been on the mixtape scene. Taking a unique route, French Montana had his own DVD series, which was named after his label, Cocaine City Records. By 2009, French Montana had a solid buzz and he continued to climb until he was one of the biggest names in the game.
By 2011, French Montana had become the biggest underground rapper in the game, because of his own popular singles and his collaborations with artists from all regions. Due to his popularity, a bidding war began over French Montana and his Cocaine City movement. Rick Ross flew French Montana down to Miami in an attempt to sign him to Maybach Music, while Diddy and Jay-Z expressed interest in adding him to Bad Boy Records and Roc Nation, respectively. For months, French Montana has discussed the label he may sign to.
In 2009, Diddy announced his renewed focus on music. With his Bad Boy label losing artists and popularity, Diddy began focusing on rebuilding his label. During the spring of 2009, Diddy added Red Cafe and his Shakedown label to the Bad Boy roster. The move from longtime home, Atlantic Records, to Interscope Records, delayed Red Cafe’s album, along with Diddy releasing Last Train to Paris as the Interscope debut for Bad Boy Records. With those projects now out of the way, Red Cafe is preparing to release his debut album on Valentine’s Day in 2012.
It seems as if Diddy will have more New York releases from Bad Boy in 2012. French Montana recently announced, on “106 & Park,” that he signed with Bad Boy Records. Now, Bad Boy Records has both Red Cafe and French Montana, two of the biggest names on the mixtape scene in New York City.