B.U.G. Mafia (“Bucharest Underground Mafia”)

B.U.G. Mafia (“Bucharest Underground Mafia“, originally “Black Underground Mafia”) is a Romanian hip hop group from Pantelimon, Bucharest, widely regarded as one of the seminal acts of gangsta rap in Romania. Founded in 1993, it was among the first Romanian hip hop acts.

The original line-up consisted of Vlad “Tataee” Irimia, Dragoş “Caddillac” Vlad-Neagu and two other members, D.D. and Mr.Nobody, who, by late 1993, had left the group. Alin “Uzzi” Demeter joined B.U.G. Mafia in 1995, thus completing the group’s first official incarnation.[1][2]

Active from 1993, the group endured a long-standing controversy due to the explicit nature of their lyrics. Focusing on subjects such as post-communist Romanian political class, poverty and crime in Romania‘s communist-built housing projects or social unrest they were subsequently banned from many mainstream T.V. and radio stations in Romania and even at times prevented from touring, spending a night in jail after their first concert in Drobeta-Turnu Severin in 1997.[3][4]

Their debut album, Mafia, marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and the social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. Although largely unknown at the group’s inception, membersTataee, Caddillac and Uzzi would all become gold-selling superstars in Romania.[5]