In 2018, Moroccan-American rapper French Montana released his video for the song FAMOUS where he showcases his African heritage by displaying the beauty of Morocco. Montana, whose birth name is Karim Kharbouch, was born in Morocco but had moved to New York City when he was thirteen. Although he’s become a prominent and well-accomplished artist in the American hip hop scene, Montana does not fail to highlight his love for his home state. This is proven to be true as he chooses to film the music video for the song FAMOUS which is part of his second studio album Jungle Rules, in Morocco.
The video displays Morroco at an extremely authentic level, with clips of locals playing soccer and having fun in the vibrant city of ChefChaouen. The happy and uplifting nature of the video plays a significant role in dismissing common stereotypes of countries in the African Diaspora as being violent, corrupt and conflict-ridden. He also highlights the importance of family and heritage in Moroccan culture as he pays respects to his grandmother’s grave in the video. In his lyrics, Montana expresses the importance of remaining humble and the struggle of people “faking it” to make it in the industry. Part of the video includes clips of a little boy roaming through the city, which I believe is meant to be a reflection of Montana as a young child. Through this, he’s able to express that although he’s gained fame, he values his culture and roots above anything else and will always be the same little boy he once was. Throughout the video, he wears Moroccan headwear which in my opinion is another way he pays respect to his culture.
The song itself has an afro-beat inspired instrumental which is another way Montana is trying to exhibit the rich culture of the Diaspora through his music. “This video will give you a small idea of how incredible it has been for me to come back home and share my music with my people,” Montana said in an interview.
By returning to Morocco to film this video, Montana has been able to proudly display his home as more than what the media portrays an African nation to be and therefore provide his fans with a more positive outlook on Morocco and the Diaspora as a whole.
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