Manu Key

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Best known for his association with the Mafia K'1 Fry collective, Manu Key is a pioneering French rapper who peaked in popularity during the late '90s and early 2000s. Born Manuel Coudray on March 28,…
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Best known for his association with the Mafia K'1 Fry collective, Manu Key is a pioneering French rapper who peaked in popularity during the late '90s and early 2000s. Born Manuel Coudray on March 28, 1975, in Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France in the Caribbean Sea, he hails from Orly, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris. He began his rap career in the late '80s in tandem with Lil Jahson in the duo Posse Ideal. Changing their name to Different Teep, they expanded to a trio in the early '90s with the addition of Mista Flo. Different Teep made their commercial recording debut with the maxi-single La Route Est Longue in 1996. Produced by DJ Mehdi, the full-length album La Rime Urbaine followed in 1997. Around this same time, Manu Key co-founded the Mafia K'1 Fry collective with fellow Parisian rap groups Ideal J (including Kery James) and 113, plus DJ Mehdi. Mafia K'1 Fry made their commercial recording debut with the maxi-single Les Liens Sacrés in 1997, followed by another maxi-single, Légendaire, in 1998. With his profile on the rise thanks to his work with Different Teep and Mafia K'1 Fry, Manu Key made his eponymous album debut in 1998. His second solo album, Manuscrit (2001), followed a few years later. He subsequently reunited with Mafia K'1 Fry for the group's full-length debut, La Cerise sur le Ghetto (2003), which reached the Top Ten of the French albums chart and gave him his first taste of mainstream success. The group reunited later in the decade for another Top Ten hit album, Jusqu'à la Mort (2007). In the meantime, Manu Key released the solo albums Prolifique, Vol. 1 (2004) and Prolifique, Vol. 2 (2007), along with Collector (2009), a 52-track retrospective album mixed by DJ Noise.