Born Laouni Mouhid in 1981, La Fouine grew up in Trappes, a distant suburb of Paris. The young Mouhid was raised listening to a variety of music, from Jacques Brel to the Jackson 5, with a fondness for rap acts like Snoop Dogg and NTM. He left school at 14 to become a rapper; he was a drug dealer by the age of 16. In 2003, having made a name for himself on the rap scene with a freestyle appearance on the mixtape Violences Urbaines, he was signed to Sony. He also became a mediator for youth groups in urban areas for his town at this time. His first release for the label, after an interesting mixtape in 2004, reflected this: Bourré au Son, in 2005, was a real album of the streets, featuring pop hooks and hard-hitting texts with a hopeful gist. In between this release and his second album, 2007's Aller-Retour, he had a well-publicized spat with fellow rapper Kamel l'Ancien, instructing him "Ferme Ta Gueule" on the unsubtly titled eponymous single. Aller-Retour was a playful, confident album featuring quality collaborations with Booba and Amel Bent, and the Top 20 single "Qui Peut Me Stopper?" ~ Caspar SalmonPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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