Elie Yaffa, better known under his stage name Booba (French pronunciation: [buˈba]) is a French rapper. After a brief stint as a break dancer in the early 1990s, Booba partnered with his friend Ali to form Lunatic. The duo released a critically acclaimed album in 2000 but disbanded in 2003. Booba has since embarked on a successful solo career, selling more than ten million discs over his career and becoming the most legally downloaded artist in French history. Today, Booba is an icon of modern French pop culture, typically revered for the quality of his flow and beats but often criticized because of controversial nature of his lyrics. He has also established the label Tallac Records specializing in rap and hip-hop. Booba has also developed his own line of jewellery in cooperation with a well known jewellery label Tony Bling.
Elie Yaffa was born on December 9, 1976, in the outskirts of Paris in Sèvres. His father is Senegalese and his mother is French.
With his friend Ali they formed the duo Lunatic in 1994. Unable to secure a record deal from a major label because of their controversial lyrics, they created their own independent record label 45 Scientific in 1999. The following year, Lunatic released its first and only album entitled Mauvais œil.
In 2002, Booba released his debut solo album Temps mort. He followed this up with four further albums: Pantheon, Ouest Side (the most successful), 0.9 and Lunatic. In late 2012, he released his sixth solo album Futur. In whole, Booba has ten certification discs, six Disques d'Or (Golden album), three Disques de platine (Platinum album) and one Double disque de platine (Double-Platinum album). In 2011, Booba won the competition MyYoutubes, ahead popular artists like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Sexion D'Assaut, Shakira, Stromae,...
Booba was influenced by the American hip-hop stage of 1980s and at the beginning of 1990s: of Mobb Deep by way of it Wu-Tang Clan but also by 2Pac and Biggie Smalls. The dark melodies accompanied with raw texts, typical of the rap from New York, are present on every album of his. He is often criticized for making the apology of easy money and murder (see the title of his 1996 album "Le Crime paie": Crime Pays). Booba advocates a reduction in the taxes and claims himself in support of individual freedom. Racism is a recurring topic of his songs (see for example "Couleur ébène", "Pitbull", "Ma Couleur"), although he sometimes deliberately advocates communitarian positions.
Booba has had training in the sport of boxing. Booba is also the creator of a streetwear brand, Ünkut, the most popular brand of this type in France.
2002 - Temps mort
2004 - Panthéon
2006 - Ouest Side
2008 - 0.9
2010 - Lunatic
2012 - Futur
2013 - Futur 2.0
2015 - D.U.C
2015 - Nero nemesis