Universal Music Africa (UMA) has signed an exclusive strategic pan-African distribution partnership with superstar French rapper Booba and his Tallac Records label.
The deal will see the artist’s entire catalog, spanning 10 albums and almost two decades, available for the first time across the continent and will also include future releases.
The deal also marks the launch of the 92i Africa – a new label division of his 92 i brand, in partnership with UMA and Universal Music France (UMF), his long-term distributor and partner in his Tallac Records and 92i brands.
The label will focus on signing and developing African rap and hip-hop talent and launches with the signings of DopeBoy DMG (Senegal) and Didi B (Côte d’Ivoire).
92i Africa will also provide a suite of services for its artists including brand and marketing partnerships, live music production and touring services, and will be based out of UMA’s regional headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Booba, a French native of Senegalese descent, is one of French rap’s most successful artists of all time, breaking domestic sales records, whilst achieving numerous Diamond (x 8), Platinum (x 17) and Gold (x 15) certified records in France, selling in-excess of 10 million albums.
His live performances have also broken records in France, becoming the first rapper to sell out both Paris’ 20,000 capacity Accor Arena (twice), and the 40,000 capacity La Défense Arena.
His latest album Ultra, released in March 2021 via Tallac Records/UMF, has already achieved more than 300 million streams worldwide in its first few months since release.
As a record producer, Booba has discovered, recorded, and released artists including: Damso, Shay and Bramsito through his labels.
Booba has also launched several successful clothing brands and stores including La Piraterie, Unkut and Disconnected. He also owns his own whiskey brand, D.U.C.
92i Africa launches with the marquee signing of Senegalese rapper, Dopeboy DMG, who both raps and sings in the Senegalese Wolof dialect, English and French. Dopeboy DMG is a part of one of Senegal’s most influential rap crews Reptyl Music.
His debut single as a solo artist, Respect, will be released on July 23 via 92i Africa/Universal Music Africa, with an EP entitled TMD to follow.
He is joined on the roster by Ivorian rapper Didi B, already a prominent figure in African hip-hop and a former member of the band Kiff No Beat. Didi’s first single with 92 I Africa, Big Boss is out now.
“Booba has been one of the most important and influential rap artists, inspiring new generations of French and African hip-hop talent for decades.”
Franck Kacou, Universal Music Africa
Franck Kacou, Managing Director, Universal Music Africa, said: “Booba has been one of the most important and influential rap artists, inspiring new generations of French and African hip-hop talent for decades.
“He is an artist and entrepreneur that Africa is so proud of, so it is an honor to help make his deep catalog of groundbreaking music available across the continent for the first time.
“We are excited to work together with him to make 92i Africa, a home for some of Africa’s most exciting artists, and to help give them a step-forward onto the global stage.”
“He is a mega star, and he is also a great talent scout. We are extremely happy to have him as a very privileged partner for many years.”
Olivier Nusse, Universal Music France
Olivier Nusse, CEO, Universal Music France, added: “Booba is an outstanding artist who has dominated the urban music market in France for over 20 years.
“He is a mega star, and he is also a great talent scout. We are extremely happy to have him as a very privileged partner for many years.
“Booba is an incredible reference beyond the French borders and particularly in West Africa. We are very proud and excited that he has decided to share his genius and experience with our teams at Universal Music Africa to make his talent shine brighter than ever on the African continent, and highlight the fantastic creative breeding ground of this region.”
Launched in 2018 with a regional headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – Universal Music Africa’s scope encompasses 25 French, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries across the continent, and represents more than 50 artists.
UMA now has additional divisions in Dakar, Senegal and Doula, Cameroon, all under the leadership of UMA’s Managing Director Franck Kacou.
In recent years, UMA has launched several frontline labels including Def Jam Africa and Motown Gospel Africa.
In March 2021, UMG signed a deal with Boomplay, Africa’s leading domestic streaming service Boomplay to expand its distribution license for the UMG catalog to cover 47 countries within the continent.
Music Business Worldwide