Unforgettable
by French Montana (featuring Swae Lee)

Album: Jungle Rules (2017)
Charted: 2 3

Songfacts®:

  • French Montana originally dropped "Unforgettable" back on his 32nd birthday in November 2016 - at that point, it featured Jeremih and Rae Sremmurd's Swae Lee – but it was quickly removed from the internet. The final version was released on April 7, 2017 and cuts Jeremih's contribution, leaving only Swae Lee's vocals on the track.
  • The remixed version comes with an emotional backstory from Montana in an Instagram post, in which he describes his family's immigration from Morocco to America, accompanied by a picture from his parents' wedding day in Africa.

    "I didn't know any English," he revealed. "It was tough because I thought we were moving into the high rises of NYC, but we ended up in the back streets of the South Bronx lol. It was still better than back home in Morocco, but my father had a hard time and wanted to move back. My mother knew we couldn't because there weren't any opportunities there and she sacrificed a lot for us to survive in the states. We were on welfare and she worked overtime to keep us fed, clothed and a roof over our heads.

    I promised my mother that I would hustle and make my accomplishments unforgettable once I found my opportunity. I want other people who might be struggling to know that the sky is not the limit… You can do unforgettable things, so I present to you my single 'Unforgettable.'"
  • For the song's music video, French Montana flew to Uganda, inspired by a clip he came across of African children dancing barefoot in rocky, muddy terrain. The Bronx MC explained to Billboard magazine:

    "I listen to a lot of African music. I was on the computer going through it, and I ran across these kids. I was a fan and I felt like I saw me in them, 'cause I grew up in Africa when I was their age. I was doing the same thing they were doing. In my head, I was playing 'Unforgettable.' They were just dancing and I fell in love with it and said, 'I gotta find these kids.'

    It was something new, it was a breath of fresh air. With having gone through living in poverty and being happy with nothing, they channel that through their dance moves and their energy. Them having no TVs and just learning how to dance, it just makes them have their own moves and their own swagger."
  • The instrumentation was supplied by Indianapolis production trio 1Mind, which consists of Sebastian Lopez, Mac Sutphin, and Michael Lohmeier, along with Toronto-based producer Jaegen and California-based CP DUBB.

    When Montana first got the beat, Swae's vocals were already on the tune. He recalled to Genius:

    "I honestly thought it was The Weeknd at first. Then I was listening to it, and I was like, 'That's Swae?'

    The song was nothing like that. The song was actually like an R&B song. But, there was this one part that was like four or eight bars that was the beat that we used throughout the whole song. So, I said, 'Why would you stop this part right here? Ship the whole part through the whole song.' It happened just like that."
  • The beat started when 1Mind's Mac Sutphin was attending a spring party weekend at Indiana University and he got a message about Drake's Views album.

    "I'm out with my friends, going to this party all day, having a great time and getting super lit," he told Genius. "I see this message on my Twitter from Oliver, OVO Oliver, and he's like, 'Yo, this is our last session for Views, send some more s--t. If you guys have any last ideas, send through.' So I see that and I'm like 'S--t. I probably do have to make something right now.' I kind of ducked back to my friends house, did a little session for four hours, and that turned out to be the 'Unforgettable' beat. I sent it back to Oliver and he was like, 'Yo, this is fire. Hold on to it.'"

    Though Drake didn't end up using the soundscape, one of the 1Mind trio played it for Swae, who jumped on the beat immediately. The instrumentation was then passed off to Jaegen, who opened it up a bit and gave the song more space.

    "There's a section where the drums actually switch up," Sutphin said. "Jaegen, I just really respect as a producer. He's super dope. I wanted to see if he had any other ideas for it. Some switch ups that could bring it to another level. And that's exactly what happened."
  • French Montana borrows from the opening lines to The Weeknd song "Wicked Games":

    She left her man at home
    She don't love him no more


    Montana explained to Genius: "My favorite song that The Weeknd ever came out with. That line was just something that I felt a lot of people relate to. A lot of girls, sometimes go out to have fun. They had just broke up with they boyfriend or they boyfriend did something bad, so they got a week off to do whatever they want, then go back because they feel bad. It just happens sometimes, you know what I’m saying? In life."
  • French Montana spent a huge $600,000 out of his own pocket on the song - $300,000 to clear the sample and another $300,000 to shoot the video.
  • 1Mind's Mac Sutphin told Billboard that he had more than an inkling that the beat was one of the best.

    "I kind of felt that at the time because that's what I always feel when I make a beat: 'Yo, this is going to be huge!' [Laughs] I guess I knew that the beat was really good. We all knew. We wasn't sure what was going to happen to it. [OVO] messaged us back and said, 'Keep this beat. It's great.' So we were all optimistic about it, even though they didn't use it. Then, once we heard the Swae reference, we were like, 'Yo, this is going to be a huge song.'"
  • French Montana released an acoustic remix featuring the distinctive vocal styling of Mariah Carey. The pair hit it off immediately when they first met and collaborated on a remix for her "Infinity" single along with Justin Bieber. "[Our conversation] started because my son's name is Moroccan, and French is Moroccan, and we were just talking," Carey told MTV News. "We did this little remix, and then Justin Bieber came in, and he got on it. The label never really released it, but then like, later on, we did this — so this is cool."

    It was Carey's second try at a collaboration with French Montana. She told Essence, "I had worked with French Montana before but we never released the single, so this time around we were like, 'Let's just do it.'"

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