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The Crucial Lesson French Montana Learned From Diddy About Real Rap Success

"You got to become that person who can take five years off and come back."

Everyone wants to know the keys to breaking into the music industry, but we don’t spend enough time discussing the keys to lasting in the rap game. 

In a new profile for Billboard, mixtape era vanguard French Montana spoke on the one major lesson Diddy taught him about long-term success in music.

“One thing I learned from him is that you don’t have to rap,” Montana explained. “Puffy still raps… But when it becomes a business, that can take away from the love of music. Some people have to tour because they got bills. You got to become that person who can take five years off and come back because you love it… I come from the mixtape era—we just dropped shit. I’m going to make sure this one gets the respect it deserves.”

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The lesson Diddy taught French Montana is that when music becomes a job, securing your freedom is key. Like any other office job, the pressures will eventually weigh on an artist to the point where their output quality will suffer. Diddy’s advice, the suggestion that you must reach a peak where a flood of music is not mandatory, will ensure that you never lose your passion for the art. The ability to take time off, too, suggests that you’re in a position financially to step away without worrying over those bills French Montana mentions.

As French Montana details, during the mixtape era, the flood of music often lacked quality control. While we could argue that streaming has replicated that same environment, Montana’s comfort in taking his time speaks volumes about his secure place in hip-hop, as well as the projected quality of his upcoming album.

In terms of patience, Montana is in good company. J. Cole and Pusha-T are just a few examples of artists who can take their time between releases, secure their bags, and still impress fans.

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