Booba, whose real name is Élie Yaffa, was born on 9 December 1976 in Boulogne-Billancourt in the Hauts-de-Seine region of France. He is a French rapper and member of 92i, a French rap collective of which he is also the founder, initially bringing together rappers from Hauts-de-Seine, Mala and Bram’s (the latter died on May 21st 2011); he is also a former member of the French rap group Lunatic, with his former sidekick Ali, in which he made his name in the mid-1990s. A very active businessman, in 2004 he launched his streetwear brand and his perfume called Ünkut, the D.U.C whisky brand, as well as a website, a TV channel and a web radio, all three around the OKLM brand.
Considered one of the greatest French rappers of his generation, he is the first French solo rapper to fill the Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy and the second rap artist to fill Bercy after NTM5. He first made a name for himself with the group Lunatic, with his partner Ali from Issy-les-Moulineaux, where success came from both critics and the public. The album Mauvais œil went down in French rap history as a gold record. Indeed, it was the first independent album to win such an award.
Booba has sold over 2.5 million albums and produced nine of them. The first, entitled Temps mort, was released in 2002; in 2005 the mixtape, Autopsie Vol. 1, was released. A fifth album, entitled Lunatic, was released on November 22, 2010; the title is based on the name of Booba’s former band. The album is certified gold record in its first week and is now double platinum. On November 26, 2012, Booba released his sixth album entitled Futur, which went gold in a single week with over 51,000 copies sold, the best start to sales in the rapper’s entire career. It also broke the French record for digital albums sold on iTunes in all musical categories, with more than 17,000 copies sold in a single week, which was since dethroned by Daft Punk in 2013.