He is built like a Greek god, tattoos fight for space over his body, a big rap chain hanging around his neck and a b-boy cap covering his ‘hardly smiling’ face. His swag emits confidence that one can only see on Italian made mob leaders and he make sure that those gunning for his throne in the French rap game, knows that he is the ‘Capo di tutti capi‘.
Yes, that’s Booba, the biggest French gangster rap artist, alive.
Elie Yaffa, the 6ft 3, millionaire, solidly build rap artist better known as Booba, was born on 9th of December 1976 to a Senegalese family in Boulogne-Billancourt, a popular French town close to Paris. A successful business man with strings of businesses ranging from street wears to internet TV and radio stations , a leader of a collection of rap artists known as ’92i’ and an enviable music career since 1994 boasting of 9 studio albums with gold and platinum status and no.1 rap album, single or mixtape sales over numbers of years.
One of his album, ‘Mauvais oeil’ became the first in the history of French rap to go gold. He has sold over 2 million albums and has worked with international stars like P. Diddy and the world acclaim Africa’s own black panther, Akon.
Talent he has, no doubt but all these successes did not come without a few (many I must say) bust in with the laws and fights with other celebrities that has left broken bones and blood behind. In fact, he has the most record of beefs with personalities which includes Maitre Gims, Rohff, La fouine, Matt Pokora and recently with Kaaris, hence earning him the French ‘king of beef’.
At one time, his mother and younger brother were kidnapped but fortunately, the police force managed to get them free without the payment of a very heavy ransom fees.
His recent altercation with Kaaris this year at Paris-Orly international airport caused a national uproar with both artists and their entourages arrested and later released on bail. Were both, if convicted might result in a sleep over in some dusty prison yard for some years to come.
There is a high belief that he gets involved in beefs to boost his record sales. Though there is an evidence of truth in this assumption as most of his beefs comes before the dropping of a new single or album. (He recently dropped his new album, Trone after his beef with Kaaris) But looking at the whole situation closely, one should not over rule also the role of jealousy and power play for the number spot.
He might not be the most loved, but even haters prays to have a piece of his achievements.
Despite his notoriety, Beefs or whatever, his consistencies in the rap game, his hard work and his savvy business sense can never be under-estimated. That’s the reason why he is still on top of the food chain.
Now you know Booba, the undisputed French king of beef and gangter rap.