French Montana's profile continues to rise. The 28-year old rapper has had no shortage of big collaborations over the past year, including his hugely successful crew-tracks "Pop That" and "Marble Floors”, as well as his star-studded mixtape, Mac & Cheese 3. Things are coming together for the highly anticipated release of his debut album Excuse My French later this year, and the "fanute"-coining emcee took some time with USA Today to discuss his come-up and plans for 2013.

French gave some insight on how his hustle influenced his approach to his rap career."I tried to work, but that didn't work, so I started hustling, one day soap, next day, who knows," he said. "But that mentality prepared me when it came to making it in music." That being said, he discourages people from taking the rap route. "I always tell people that they have a better chance at making the NBA since there are 18 spots on a roster, but the chances of making it as a rapper are even slimmer," he said. "I came from a third-world country, from nothing, and became something. I just wouldn't take no for an answer."

French also detailed his relationship Max B, and how he feels he's carrying the torch for the locked up rapper "My best friend (Max B) is serving 75 years in prison," he said. "Only one of us made it. I think about all this when I make music, of all the sacrifices made. Nothing is just going to come to you, you have to make it happen." 

He also weighed in on an experience that could have similarly ended his career; when he suffered a gunshot wound to the head while on his way to a studio in the Bronx."I try not to bring that memory back. I'm glad I made it through that time, but, yeah, that experience was part of the album."

On a more positive note, French shared some thoughts on working with Diddy. "My chemistry with Diddy is amazing, and I know if anyone can make it happen for me, he can," Montana says. "He doesn't look at me like a paycheck, he cares for my career. I don't want to be just a rapper on the roster; I want to win the game. All you need is the right player."

French Montana plans to release his debut album Excuse My French on March 12th through Bad Boy Records.