French Montana Thinks He Can Outlast Kendrick Lamar In A ‘Verzuz’ Battle Of Hits

French Montana wants to battle Kendrick Lamar hit-for-hit on Instagram and doesn’t know why fans don’t think it’s a good idea. After making the offhand declaration that he would “outshine” Kendrick at a festival due to an overwhelming preponderance of hits, Twitter lit up with its usual array of skepticism, opposition, and ridicule. French was apparently taken aback, but doubled down, pointing out that as a rapper, he’s supposed to believe in himself — even in the face of what seems like insurmountable odds.

During an video interview with Complex, French was asked about possible matchups for him in a hypothetical Verzuz battle after his back-and-forth with Tory Lanez and responded: “I mean, honestly, you could put somebody like Kendrick Lamar next to me on the same stage at a festival. I might outshine him — not because I’m a better rapper or whatever it is. It’s just that I got more hits. Kendrick Lamar got albums. He got masterpieces. But if you were to put us on the festival stage I would outshine him because I have more hits than Kendrick Lamar.” The moment sparked a backlash on Twitter, prompting French to defend his comments.

“If we just talking about anthems,” he wrote. “Believe i can go neck to neck. I believe i can go neck to neck!! I been making hits for a long time!” He also scoffed at the idea that he should be intimidated, saying, “It ain’t my fault I believe in myself.” He wondered, “How was I supposed to answer that question?” before questioning his followers, “How many times I gotta prove myself before I get mine?”

French was, however, quick to clarify that he wasn’t trying to diss the Pulitzer Prize winner. “I love Kendrick!” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “That’s not just for kendrick that’s to anybody they put in front of me, and ask me that same question. What u want me to say? It should be your attitude too. If u think any less of yourself don’t blame it on the next person who don’t!”

While it’s true that French has plenty of years in the rap game, with hits like “Pop That,” “Don’t Panic,” “Unforgettable,” and “All The Way Up” under hit belt, he seems to be discounting the whole Pulitzer Prize thing — when it comes to mainstream exposure, Kendrick Lamar is one of the best-known rappers of all time, which isn’t something that happens without hits. From “Poetic Justice” to “Alright” to “Humble,” Kendrick’s had at least one culture-shifting single on each of his albums, not including the sheer number of features he can pull out, including the dreaded “Control” verse.

On second thought, this is a battle I personally want to see. Do what French says: Set it up.