Booba was born Élie Yaffa on December 9, 1976. He is a French rapper who had a brief stint as a break dancer in the early 1990s. In 2000, he and his friend Ali in Lunatic released a critically acclaimed album. The hip-hop duo Lunatic split up, however, in 2003, and both went on to pursue careers as soloists. Yaffa has now become the most legally downloaded artist in French history, with over 10 million records sold over his career. He is often criticized due to the controversial nature of his lyrics. Despite that, Yaffa is admired for the quality of his flow and the beats he instills in his music.
Élie Yaffa, professionally known as Booba, was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, to a Senegalese father and a French mother, who were of Mosellan and Belgian descent, respectively. In the early 1990s, Yaffa had a brief spell as a break dancer, but Yaffa’s career in rap music began in 1994 when he and his friend Ali formed the hip-hop duo Lunatic. Due to their controversial lyrics, they were unable to secure a record deal from a major label, so they created their own independent company. In 2000, they released their first and only album, “Mauvais œil.” Lunatic separated in 2003.
Both members went on to produce solo L.P.s after dissolving the band. In 2002, Yaffa released his debut solo album “Temps mort,” which peaked at number two on the ‘French Albums Chart’ and received a ‘Gold Record.’ Then, in 2004, Yaffa created the label Tallac Records. His third album “Ouest Side,” released on Tallac Records, quickly reached number one on the French charts, and went on to receive a ‘Platinum Record.’ In 2010, Yaffa released his fifth album, “Lunatic,” which he named after his former hip-hop duo, and achieved ‘Double Platinum’ status, having once again climbed to the top of the local as well as Belgian (Wallonia) charts.
In 2011, Yaffa won the ‘My YouTube’ contest, a competition organized by the music platform which involved 38 French and international artists. He is known to have been an influence on artists such as Eminem, Jay-Z, Sexion d’Assaut, Stromae, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Shakira. In 2015, Yaffa’s seventh album, “Nero Nemesis,” was released by AZ and Tallac Records; it reached number one on the French albums chart, as well as in Belgium, and received a ‘Double Platinum’ record. Yaffa brought out his latest album “Ultra,” in 2021, which has so far received one ‘Platinum Record.’
Yaffa and Ali form the hip-hop duo Lunatic.
Lunatic releases its first and only album: “Mauvais œil.”
He brings out his debut solo album, “Temps mort.”
Yaffa creates the label Tallac Records — licensed by record company Barclay Records.
Yaffa wins a creative competition organized by the music platform.
Why We Love Booba
His music is acknowledged
Yaffa’s music albums have repeatedly achieved gold, platinum, and double-platinum status. He has become the most legally downloaded artist in French history.
He supports individual freedom
Yaffa has publicly stated that he supports individual freedom. This view has grown in popularity among artists and other public figures over the last decades.
Yaffa and Ali created their independent record label, releasing the album “Mauvais œil.” It resulted in him being the first French singer of all time to obtain a ‘Gold Record’ independently.
5 Surprising Facts
His latest album was his last
Yaffa announced that his latest album “Ultra” would be his last.
He has a streetwear brand
Yaffa is the creator of the streetwear brand Ünkut.
He was in and out of prison
Yaffa was arrested on several occasions during his teenage years.
His mother and brother were kidnapped
Yaffa’s mother and brother were once kidnapped and held for ransom.
He threw a bottle at an audience
During a concert in 2008, Yaffa threw a bottle of ‘Jack Daniel's whiskey at a member of the audience for insulting him.
Why is rap so popular in France?
Some critics say it is because the French language is fast and flowing, which harmonizes with rap and gives off an eloquent effect.
When did hip-hop start in France?
It is said that France discovered hip-hop in the early 1980s.
What is French rap called?
The hip-hop music style developed in French-speaking countries is simply called ‘French hip-hop.’
Booba’s birthday dates