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2022 BET Awards - Arrivals

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French Montana has had beef with some other high-profile rappers throughout his career, including 50 Cent, Young Thug, and a 15-year disagreement with Jim Jones. So the Montega lyricist appeared on a recent episode of the Off The Record podcast and hinted that record labels have begun really capitalizing on their artists whenever fallouts turn fatal.

“We was beefing for real,” the Coke Boys Records founder told host DJ Akademiks. “People was dying and this and that, and it was blocking a lot of money. People didn’t want to touch you. Your rap friends stop picking up, the labels stop picking up. It gets crazy. But now it’s even crazier, they gettin’ life insurance on artists. At least back then, we didn’t have that.” And when Akademiks asked if the labels were just acting in “good faith” on behalf of their artists, Montana strongly replied, “No.”

“You’re preying on [your artist’s] death. You’re preying on making millions on his death,” Montana asserted. The move, though potentially opportunistic, may also reflect some measure of business savvy on the part of the labels.

Per a recent XXL article, the outlet was able to document at least 87 homicide cases, starting from the death of Scott La Rock in 1987 to that of Pop Smoke two years ago. And according to a 2016 study, the rate of homicides among rappers is No. 1 as compared to other genres, and that ranges anywhere from 5 to 32 times as high as its counterparts.

“They’re being realistic,” Montana added. “You’re supposed to have life insurance anyway, but when the label does it, if you don’t have one that’s crazy.”

“[This era of rap] is more dangerous because it’s easier to get caught. Social media wasn’t as heavy [back then],” he noted. “Remember, we were doing DVDs. So when we’re beefing, we were capitalizing off that at the same time. You would see the commercial for the new DVD [that’s] coming out next month. Nowadays, the first outlet that gets it [gets it] out there, and there’s retaliation. In one day, a full war will go on.”

Watch the entirety of French Montana’s July 14 interview with DJ Akademiks for Off the Record by clicking here.