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Tataee on stage in Milan.
Background information
Birth nameVlad Irimia
Born (1976-10-17) October 17, 1976 (age 43)
Sebeş, Alba, Romania
OriginPantelimon, Bucharest, Romania
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • entrepreneur
  • Vocals
  • synthesizer
  • keyboards
  • drum machine
  • sampler
Years active1991–present
  • AMMA Record
  • Cat Music
  • Casa Productions
  • Legend Audio
Associated acts

Vlad Irimia (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈvlad iriˈmi.a]; born October 17, 1976), primarily known by his stage name Tataee ([taˈta.(j)e]), is a Romanian record producer, rapper, record executive, and music manager. He is one of the founders of the influential Romanian hip hop trio B.U.G. Mafia, also having produced albums and overseeing the careers of many acclaimed Romanian hip hop artists, such as La Familia, XXL & 10 Grei, Mahsat and JerryCo. As a music producer, he is frequently credited as one of the pioneers and key figures in the architecture of the Romanian version of gangsta rap, a style of music that closely resembles its American counterpart but also includes various local influences derived from balkan music or, more recently, electronica.[1][2][3][4]

Tataee began his career in music as a solo artist and he later found fame as a member of the gangsta rap group B.U.G. Mafia with Alin "Uzzi" Demeter and Dragoș "Caddilac" Vlad-Neagu, with whom he popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. Their 1998 album, "De Cartier", released under Cat Music in Romania led them to become one of the country's best-selling performing artists, as well as one of the most respected Romanian hip hop groups.[5] Later in his career, he worked with Romanian artists such as Akcent, Andreea Antonescu, Bitză, Cristina Spătar or Adriana Rusu, receiving credit for changing and improving their sound.[6][7][8][9] [10][11][12]

Following the success of B.U.G. Mafia's Băieţii Buni in 2003, Tataee focused on producing music for various other artists. He started his own record label, Legend Audio, in 2002, as he assumed his role as a record producer and music executive. In 2005, he signed Romanian hip hop artist JerryCo who released his debut single in late 2009 following a four-year work period with Tataee on his first album, "Orice E Posibil" (Everything Is Possible), released in 2010 by Legend Audio in Romania.[13][14][15][16][17]

Early life and education[edit]

Tataee was born Vlad Irimia on October 17, 1976 in Sebeş, a city in Alba County, central Romania, southern Transylvania. His father was as a mechanical engineer on various construction sites for hydroelectric power stations in Transylvania, while his mother worked as an accountant. Irimia spent his childhood years in numerous blue-collar working colonies adjacent to the various dams his father was hired to worked on. His mother, an amateur singer, would occasionally perform publicly at friends' weddings and baptism parties, while also encouraging the young Irimia to sing. In 1981, his family relocated to Caransebeș and then to Drobeta Turnu-Severin for the ultimately failed construction project of Iron Gates III, after which, in 1990, his father moved the family to his native Bucharest, where Irimia, the oldest of three children, attended the Alexandru Ioan Cuza highschool in Titan, where he swiftly became acquainted with gang violence, while also gaining an interest in chemistry and geometry.[18] He dropped out of college after the first semester when he realized it was keeping him back from a full-time musical career and focused on producing B.U.G. Mafia's second album.[19]

Music career[edit]

Before B.U.G. Mafia (1990-1992)[edit]

As Romania had been a communist country until late 1989, western music was banned by Nicolae Ceauşescu's regime and official releases of hip hop albums were virtually impossible to find on the Romanian music market. Tataee himself stated in an interview for CNN that he got acquainted with rap music after the political regime switch that occurred in Romania in 1989.[20] As a more liberal political system replaced the totalitarian rule of communism, heavy bootlegging of American music occurred on the Eastern European market.[21] Inspired by Public Enemy and N.W.A, Tataee tried steering his professional options towards becoming a rapper and started working on his own music. By 1993, when he met his first collaborator, Daddy Caddy, he had only recorded one song and had little professional perspective. The official press release for B.U.G. Mafia states that they first met in late 1993 and recorded their first track together in 1994.[5][22]

B.U.G. Mafia (1993–Present)[edit]

B.U.G. recorded more tracks in English, producing their own beats with help from Romeo Vanica, a well known producer, who had a professional keyboard. In 1994, they had their first live appearance in one of the first Romanian hip hop shows, made possible by Bogdan "DJ Sleek" Untea, a famous Romanian hip-hop DJ and one of the first Romanians to pursue this career. Still looking for new rappers they met with Demonii ("The Demons"), one of the few Romanian hip-hop crews to rap in Romanian at the time. One of the members was Alin Demeter, also known as drama Drama then, later as Uzzi, who joined the group in 1995 and at the same time they changed their name adding Mafia so the Romanian public would get better acquainted with their style. They also stopped writing lyrics in English and switched to Romanian for the same reason. In the summer of 1995 they signed their first professional music contract to record an album with Amma Sound.[23]

Move to Casa Productions (2001–2003)[edit]

In 1997, Tataee provided vocals and produced several tracks on La Familia's debut album, Băieți De Cartier (Hoodboys), paving the group's way to hip hop superstardom in Romania and remaining a frequent collaborator until the feud that occurred between them in 2003. Later, in 1998, he produced XXL&10 Grei's whole debut album, Personajul Negativ (The Bad Guy) and although the album sold poorly, it was met with unanimous positive reviews by music critics and fans as well, establishing Grasu XXL and his collaborator, Paco "10 Grei" as two of the most prominent figures in Romanian hip hop.[24] The B.U.G. Mafia Prezintă Casa (B.U.G. Mafia Presents Casa) album, released February 20, 2002, featured songs by his group, B.U.G. Mafia, as well as by newly signed Casa artists and the single Cine E Cu Noi (Who's With Us), intended as a new milestone in Romanian hip hop.[25]

Move to Legend Audio (2004–2005)[edit]

JerryCo, a Romanian rapper had released two independent albums while still part of Agresiv, the well-known Romanian producing duo. JerryCo met Tataee in 2004, as the latter heard a demo containing some songs and called him to discuss a record contract. It was only a year after this meeting occurred that JerryCo actually signed with the label, after making significant progress on his own, enough to impress Tataee and determine him to finally start the Legend Audio project.[13]

Focus on production (2003–Present)[edit]

Besides overseeing the production for every B.U.G. Mafia album, Tataee proved to have a strong interest for work as a music producer since the late-90s, helping launch careers for acclaimed acts such as La Familia, XXL & 10 Grei or Mahsat, to name a few. Following the success of Băieţii Buni, Tataee focused on producing songs and albums for other artists. In 2004, he produced the third album for raggamuffin Bucharest-based group M&G, also providing vocals for the album's lead single, "Asalt Raggafonic" (Raggaphonic Assault).[26] Tataee's work on the album earned them an MTV Romanian Music Awards nomination in 2005, in the "Best New Act" category.[27] He produced Bitză's "Urmatorul Pas" (The Next Step), the first single from his debut album, "Sevraj" (Withdrawal). The track proved to be a great success, launching Bitză's career while providing significant record sales.[28] He also worked with Romanian pop group Akcent, producing and writing their 2004 single "Poveste De Viață" (Life Story).[29]

He produced and provided vocals for the single "Fără Egal" (Like No One Else) by R&B singer Cristina Spătar.[30] In 2007, he produced the lead single of pop singer Adriana Rusu's debut album, "Sentimente" (Feelings), a track called "Noi Doi" (Us Two) on which he also performed two of the song's verses. He worked with Andreea Antonescu, formerly of the pop group Andre to produce her 2008 single "Ridica Mâinile" (Raise Your Hands).[9][31] In 2006, together with bandmate Daddy Caddy, Tataee served as the executive producer of Grasu XXL's debut solo album, "Curaj" (Courage) and while he had virtually no contribution to the musical production, he helped create an album that would spawn one of the most successful singles in the Romanian hip hop industry, "Fără Filtru" (Without Filtre), also appearing in the song's music video.[32] Although in 2009 he produced and released the second volume of B.U.G. Mafia's anniversary album, he has been generally hard to spot in the Romanian media outside a handful of interviews promoting the album's release and his Twitter page where he constantly interacts with his fans. In 2009 he also worked with Romanian hip hop artist Marijuana to produce a track on her untitled 2010 second album.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Relationships and family[edit]

Irimia has been in a stable relationship with his girlfriend for several years and is currently planning to get married sometime in the future. His first child, Antonia Olga, was born in early 2011. He also has an older brother and a younger sister who also live in Bucharest. Over the time he has jokingly stated in various interviews that his parents were not thrilled with the job he chose but that ultimately they have grown to be proud.[34] For many years, he was also an avid supporter of FC Dinamo Bucureşti.[35]

Car accident[edit]

On the night of August 9, 2008, while driving from a B.U.G. Mafia concert from Periam to Lipova, Irimia tried to go around another vehicle and collided with a scooter, seriously injuring the man driving it. Police investigations concluded that Irimia did not take the necessary measures before overtaking the vehicle in front of him and, as the victim was rushed to the hospital with both legs and a few ribs broken, his driver's license was suspended for three months and a criminal record was issued against him. The conclusions of the investigations were that, had the man driving the scooter not been wearing a helmet, he would have probably been killed in the accident, making Irimia liable for serious jail time.[36][37] He went on to give details of an early 2008 incident when, driving from another concert, a truck lost control on the road passing their car by very closely. He turned a hard right and the fact that they crashed on the side of the road was actually what saved them from being seriously injured or even killed from colliding with the runaway truck.[18][34]

Musical influences and style[edit]

Tataee has said that he uses multiple instruments while working in the studio, preferring to use virtual instruments and the computer to arrange and produce his instrumentals. His Twitter official page features various conversations with inquiring fans, with Irimia stating that he prefers virtual instrument manufacturers such as Native Instruments and Steinberg. He cites Dr. Dre and Public Enemy's Bomb Squad as his primary musical influences. During the time he answered fan questions on the bugmafia93.ro message board, he used Steinberg Cubase to sequence and mix his beats, but he has since switched to ProTools HD.[38]

In the mid 90s Tataee started collaborating with Camil Beldeanu, a Romanian keyboardist who had worked with various Romanian artists and who went on to be one of the most prominent producers and arrangers to work with Romanian hip hop artists in the late 90s and early 2000s.[39][40]


He wrote the lyrics for the 2004 Akcent single "Poveste De Viață" (Life Story)[29] and he also wrote Cristina Spătar's 2006 "Fără Egal" single (Like No One Else)[31] and Adriana Rusu's "Noi Doi" (Us).[11][12] fails NFCC


With B.U.G. Mafia

Studio albums[edit]

Extended Plays[edit]


  • Hoteluri ("Hotels") - 1997
  • Pentru '98 (For '98) - 1998
  • Lumea e a mea (The World Is Mine) - 1998 (Loredana Groza feat. B.U.G. Mafia)
  • România (Romania) - 1999
  • Un 2 și 3 de 0 (A 2 Followed by 3 Zeros) - 2000
  • Poezie de stradă (Street Poetry) - 2001
  • Străzile (The Streets) - 2005


Best-Of Albums[edit]



  1. ^ "Tataee Interview With Maxim". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  2. ^ "Tataee Biography By Romanian Music Website Muzikweek". Archived from the original on 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  3. ^ "Last.FM Page about B.U.G. Mafia with details about Romanian gangsta rap". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  4. ^ Navadaru, Cosmin (January 22, 2010). "Tataee, BUG Mafia: N-avem nevoie de patru milioane de fani, avem nevoie de o suta de mii". Hotnews. Bucharest. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "B.U.G. Mafia Biography on MusicMall.Ro". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  6. ^ "Bitza's Debut Album Review By Romanian Music Website 4Elemente.Ro referencing Tataee's work on the album's first single". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  7. ^ "Bitză's Debut Single, a song featuring and produced by Tataee". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  8. ^ "Romanian Music Channel UTV Information about Tataee's Work With Cristina Spătar". Retrieved 2010-01-01.[dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Andreea Antonescu, produsa de B.U.G. Mafia". Retrieved 2010-03-14.
  10. ^ "Jurnalul Naţional report referencing Tataee's work with Cristina Spătar". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  11. ^ a b "Adriana Rusu's Debut Single, a song featuring and produced by Tataee". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  12. ^ a b "Information from Adriana Rusu's official website, referencing her work with Tataee". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  13. ^ a b "JerryCo Interview on his official website with insight on his work with Tataee". Retrieved 2010-01-01.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "JerryCo video from his official YouTube channel during work of his debut album". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  15. ^ "JerryCo video from his official YouTube channel as he records vocals for Orice E Posibil and speaks about the song and his work relationship with Tataee". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  16. ^ "JerryCo's s Debut Single, a song featuring and produced by Tataee for his Legend Audio record label". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  17. ^ Calin, Dorina (December 4, 2015). "INTERVIU cu Vlad Irimia (Tataee): Suntem toţi revoltaţi după tragedia din Colectiv, dar este vina noastră". Mediafax. Bucharest. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Invitat: Tataee". Profesioniştii... cu Eugenia Vodă (in Romanian). 29 June 2013. 49:59 minutes in. Romanian Television. TVR1. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  19. ^ Tata Vlad [@IAmTataVlad] (16 February 2014). "@AndImPo @mikecaren I realised college wasn't for me in '95, at the end of my 1st semester and focused only on my music. Best decision ever" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ "B.U.G. Mafia Interview on CNN". YouTube. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
  21. ^ "Singing for freedom in Romania". CNN News. 23 December 2009. 49:59 minutes in. CNN. CNN. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Secretele BUG Mafia: Cum a decurs prima lor intalnire si ce meserii ar fi avut Tataee, Uzzi si Caddy daca nu se apucau de rap". Știrile ProTV (in Romanian). 1 December 2015. 10:56 minutes in. Pro TV. Pro TV. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  23. ^ the Wyse, Praverb (July 20, 2014). "Tataee of B.U.G. Mafia Breaks Down Managing, YouTube & Success". PraVerb.net. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  24. ^ "XXL & 10 Grei's debut album review by romanian music critic K.Ro". Archived from the original on 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  25. ^ "B.U.G. Mafia Presents Casa Album Information". Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  26. ^ "Review referencing Tataee's work with M&G". Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  27. ^ "MusicMix article about M&G, referencing their 2005 MTV Romanian Music Awards nomination". Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  28. ^ "Bitză cântă cu Tataee de la B.U.G. Mafia". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  29. ^ a b "Poveste de viata sau metamorfoza Akcent". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  30. ^ "Cristina, "Regina R&B", revine cu Tataee de la B.U.G. Mafia: "Fara egal"". Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  31. ^ a b "Adriana Rusu feat. Tataee". Archived from the original on 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  32. ^ "Grasu XXL feat. Mari - Fără Filtru". Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  33. ^ "B.U.G. Mafia e mai scumpa in criza". Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  34. ^ a b "Tataee se insoara in 2010". Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  35. ^ "Tataee sustine ca "Undeva-n Balkani" nu e rap". Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  36. ^ "Tataee a calcat un mopedist cu masina trupei". Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  37. ^ "Tataee, componentul trupei B.U.G. Mafia, a accidentat grav cu masina un barbat care circula pe un scuter". Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  38. ^ "Q&A with Tataee". Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  39. ^ "B.U.G. Mafia si Camil Beldeanu". Archived from the original on 2009-03-10.
  40. ^ "Tataee fan interview on bugmafia93.ro message board, detailing his work with Camil Beldeanu". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2010-03-13.

External links[edit]