My Unforgettable Journey with French Montana
June 19, 2017
Who would have thought that doing the Unforgettable Dance Challenge alone in my living room, bald and sick with a port hanging out of my chest would have lead to dancing with French Montana himself at the Crosby Hotel in New York City?
I didn’t! I’m actually still in disbelief that I can’t help but find myself write about it so that I don’t forget a single second about what happened in those 3 crazy days.
Now you’re probably wondering how the hell this even happened?
By now, you must have seen my “pre-chemo video” dancing to the song Unforgettable by French Montana and Swae Lee… spinning my port, brushing it off and dutty wining with no hair!
In 24 hours, the video went viral. Reposted by several celebrities and accounts with millions of followers such as Nicky Jam, Worldstar and French Montana himself.
Why did I choose Unforgettable? Well for one, as soon as the song came out, I caught myself dancing to it as it was randomly cued on my Spotify playlist! And two, my boyfriend showed me a few hilarious YouTube videos of the Unforgettable Dance Challenge that was picking up, danced by celebrities like Diddy, Drake and ordinary people like cops, kids and their parents! I found myself bopping around with them as the video looped over and over again.
But lastly, I watched French Montana’s Unforgettable music video and that’s what made me love the song even more. The Triplets Ghetto Kids had my jaw dropped to the floor. The music video was filmed in Uganda and you can clearly see that these kids live in poverty. They don’t have much, but they’re dancing like they have it all.
That’s why I chose to dance to Unforgettable. Not for its lyrics (coz let’s face it, they don’t really make sense to my situation… lol sorry French) but really – its movement is powerful. If these kids can dance through their problems, so can I!
Due to its virality, I was in contact with French Montana’s publicist Tammy who wanted to help make my dreams come true, aka – get on The Ellen Show.
We were emailing back and forth, and later we found out that Ellen’s 14th season was unfortunately coming to an end. Ellen then goes on a 3 month hiatus for the summer. Bummer!
But Tammy and I kept in touch regardless!
One night, Tammy accidentally sent me a text message through a group chat which was intended to the other person in the group.
Knowing the message wasn’t intended for me… I responded regardless, with humour, trying to join in the conversation! This chat then escalated to Tammy asking, “Hey, if we were to send you a ticket to fly you out to New York City to meet French Montana… would you be able to come?” “Hmmm.. HELL YEAH!” was my response.
The invite was so last minute, but these are the moments you don’t think twice about. You cancel everything you have planned, pack your bags and go!
I barely had any information on what was to come. All I knew is that I was flying out to New York City for French Montana’s private event. His publicist sent me the little flyer of the event that stated a private screening of his new documentary and a private listening of his new album.
In my mind, I was just going to sit and watch! Maybe meet him and shake his hand! Nothing more.
But the universe always conspires and if you watch the video blog above, filmed and edited by my big brother, Justin Agustin, you’ll see that A LOT more happened on this trip!
From being called on stage by French Montana to say a few words in front of important people in the music industry – Having a dance off with him during the private listening event when Unforgettable dropped – Calling in Virgin Radio Montreal for an early morning update – Doing interviews by his side for BET and Buzzfeed… to a full LIVE interview with Complex Hustle the next day!
French Montana put me to work! …and I loved every second of it.
The famous rapper admitted to the world that I was his inspiration, his idol, his hero!
And while his “gangsta rap” would never make you think this… French Montana is one of the most humble, caring and genuine artists I’ve encountered.
I truly believe his trip to Uganda changed his perspective on life. His relentless acts of generosity and kindness for Mama Hope’s initiatives says a lot on its own. He donated $100K to support the Suubi Health Center in rural Budondo, Uganda and encourages his fans to donate more and spread awareness using the trending hashtag #UnforgettableDanceChallenge.
But what struck me the most was his undivided attention when it came to my story. I could tell he truly cared and even insisted I follow up with him about my health.
The reason why I’m taking the time to share this with you in detail is because… although this may not be your typical “Nalie Show”.
This entire trip summarizes everything my show preaches! How sometimes, you just have to trust the universe and not force things to happen! How YOU CAN turn adversity into opportunity… troubles into triumphs and negativity into POSITIVITY!
If this video doesn’t prove that to you alone… then let me give you your
TOP 5 TIPS TO BE UNFORGETTABLE
Something this surprise trip to NYC taught me…
5. SERVE OTHERS
Dancing to Unforgettable could have been the most embarrassing moment of my life. I mean c’mon… just click on the trending hashtag and you’ll see so many hot girls winding and grinding to the song! But I knew posting it would give permission to many others to simply smile through their pain, dance it off and let loose! You become unforgettable when you HELP others get through their problems while you get through yours. Not just after.
4. HAVE FUN
Don’t be so serious. People remember you – not by what you say or what you do – but HOW YOU MAKE THEM FEEL! That energy and passion of someone who’s just having the time of their life is contagious. Let go a little, and people will feel that freedom from you.
3. TAKE RISKS
When French Montana offers you a ticket to fly to New York City in just a couple of days, you better take that offer and hop on that plane no matter what anybody thinks! Ok so maybe I checked with my travel insurance and got my Doctor’s approval first… but regardless! GO GO GO! Sometimes you just need to drop everything, take a risk and go LIVE YOUR DREAMS a little!
2. OWN IT
You got weaknesses? We all do! Some are a little more obvious than others right? Say for example, my bald head! Well instead of covering that up, I own it! My confidence is what everyone remembers. Not how I tied my headscarf or rocked the big hoop earrings – but more so, my panache as I strut through a room as if it were my choice to be bald. Don’t ever let stereotypes about your disability, illness, sexuality, gender or ethnicity define you.
1. BE YOURSELF
Anyone else catch my clumsy/goofy self in this video? French Montana thought I was pretty funny. But that’s only because I didn’t hold back. I didn’t try to be someone I’m not and he felt that. People can smell fakeness from a far! Be yourself and those who matter will connect. Those who don’t will fade away.
I really hope my Unforgettable Journey with French Montana simply proves to you that there is HOPE! I want this video to remind you to stop WAITING for the perfect moment and to just live now! I call myself a THRIVER because I feel like survivor is too passive! Thrivers grasp any opportunity they get and turn it into something positive despite being in the shittiest position they have ever been in. We don’t wait to win our fight, we fight like we are already winners!
So to you, my fellow thrivers, may you aspire to be UNFORGETTABLE!
A HUGE THANK YOU to French Montana’s dream team – Tammy, Sal, Maria, Lola, Brittany, Lauren and fam… THANK YOU for taking care of me and making me feel like I was part of the crew.