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Feuding French rappers to settle scores in Swiss cage fight

Two feuding French rappers have said they will settle their differences with a two million-euro cage fight in Switzerland in December.

Feuding French rappers to settle scores in Swiss cage fight
Booba and Kaaris have been at the centre of a long-running feud. Photo: AFP

Bitter rivals Booba and Kaaris ended up behind bars last August after a running battle between their entourages shut down part of a Paris airport.

Kaaris, 39, posted a video of himself signing the contract for the fight while he nonchalantly ate some chicken and chips with the hashtag, “The rule is that there will be no rules.”

READ ALSO French rappers brawled at Paris airport 'to avoid losing face online'

 


The fight at Orly airport was caught on camera. 

Booba quickly took to social media to mock his rival.

“He's signed, he's signed,” he said. “I wanted (the fight) to happen earlier but the diva and actress wouldn't have it. The important thing is that it happens.”

The ultra-violent sport of MMA (mixed martial arts) is still banned in France, so the fight will take place in Geneva.

The winner will take home €1.5 million, while the loser will get a third of that, the promoters confirmed Monday.

While the Ivory Coast-born Kaaris has promised he will drink his rival's blood, Booba, aka Elie Yaffa, has replied in kind. “I will beat you to death, you son of a bitch,” he wrote.

The rappers' long-running dispute has sparked hilarity on social media. 

A month in solitary confinement following the brawl at Orly airport, heavy fines and the threat of 18 months more behind bars have done nothing to cool their animosity.

Booba – whose Instagram account photo features his toned six-pack – spent the weekend posting videos of his training and dietary regime and promoting a gadget which he claims helps eliminate abominable fat.

“People tell me that it is going to be hard to keep up the training for eight months,” said the tattooed 42-year-old who calls himself the “Duke of Boulogne”.

“But what's hard is having to get up at six in the morning to fill the shelves of Monoprix (a French supermarket) for €1,000 a month,” he added.

The rumble in Geneva will be run by the Swiss MMA franchise, the Strength and Honor Championship. 

Promoter Raid Salah said talks between the two men on setting up the fight had been “very difficult” with each throwing tantrums.

The airport scrap in August between the singers, who were both on their way to concerts in Barcelona, went viral after bystanders filmed the fight on their phones.

News of their cage fight set social media alight with mocking memes comparing the grudge match to the big money boxing match between legendary fighter Floyd Mayweather and Irish MMA star Conor McGregor in 2017, which the American won.

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MUSIC

8 of French duo Daft Punk’s most memorable moments

One of the era's defining dancefloor acts hung up their helmets on Monday, as French electronic music stars Daft Punk announced their retirement in a typically enigmatic fashion with a video showing one of them exploding in a desert.

8 of French duo Daft Punk's most memorable moments
Photo: AFP

From Da Funk in 1995 to Get Lucky in 2013, Daft Punk became the torch-bearers for French house music across the globe, winning six Grammy awards and pioneering the monumental sound-and-light shows that came to characterise the electronic dance movement (EDM) of recent years.

They did so while almost never revealing their faces — the ubiquitous helmets became another much-copied trope of EDM stars, but also afforded Thomas Bangalter, 46, and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, 47, a freedom from the fame that quickly encircled them.

“We have daily lives that are a lot more normal than the lives of artists who have the same level of fame as us, but who might be attached to being physically recognised,” Bangalter said in a rare authorised documentary by the BBC in 2015.

Here are some of the highlights of their career – although for our money nothing will beat the French army band’s performance of a Daft Punk medley at the Bastille Day celebrations in 2017, in front of president Emmanuel Macron and a plainly bemused Donald Trump.

1. “Daft punky thrash”

Bangalter and Homem-Christo met at school in Paris before an inauspicious start in music with the rock band Darlin’, which also featured a future member of the French indie band Phoenix.

One review in the British music press dismissed the band as “daft punky thrash” — which struck a chord with them.

Reemerging as an electronic outfit, they met with instant success.

This interview from 1995 is one of the few images of their faces:

2. Their signature look in “Around the World”

Early singles “Da Funk” and “Around the World” became club fixtures, and led to massive sales for their debut album “Homework” in 1997.

It was in the video for “Around the World” that they first donned the helmets that would become their signature look. It mirrored the tight control they exercised over every part of their career, which included ownership of their master recordings.

3. “One More Time”

They followed up with the even more successful “Discovery” in 2001, which spawned the hits “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”.

There were some distinctively left-field choices in the years that followed, including producing the 2003 film “Interstella 5555” by Japanese anime master Leiji Matsumoto, which featured music from “Discovery”.

4. Human After All

While their next album in 2005, a more sombre “Human After All”, received mixed reviews, these were quickly forgotten amid the euphoria of their live shows over the next two years.

This included a headline appearance at US festival Coachella in 2006, performed inside a giant LED pyramid. EDM fans still speak about it with an almost religious reverence.

5. Tron soundtrack

In 2010, they released a soundtrack to the Disney reboot of Tron, which picked up a Grammy nomination.

6. “Random Access Memories”

But no one predicted the massive success of their last album, 2013’s “Random Access Memories”, for which they gave up their usual makeshift home rig for a full commercial studio– and used entirely live instruments.

The resulting work dominated album-of-the-year lists and helped lift their total worldwide sales to 12 million. It won four Grammies the following year including record of the year for “Get Lucky”, the millions-selling lead single featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.

Their appearance at the Grammy Awards show was their last public appearance for three years.

7. “I Feel It Coming”

They showed up one more time for the Grammy ceremony in 2017, alongside The Weeknd, after collaborating on the Canadian artist’s most recent album.

Despite the Twittersphere erupting in excitement last month amid rumours they would rejoin The Weeknd for the Super Bowl half-time show, that did not in the end materialise. 

8. “Epilogue”

The video titled “Epilogue” announcing their split used footage from their cult 2006 film “Electroma” in which one of the robots sets the auto-destruct of the other.

A cutaway then reads “1993-2021” with two robot hands making a circle around a sunset.

Their publicist, Kathryn Frazier, confirmed the news to AFP by email, without giving a reason for the split.

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