He frequently hangs out at luxury resorts and flies a private jet. He recorded music with Snoop Dog and produces clothes for the Russian Army. People line up to buy his burgers, and he wants to open more restaurants around the world, including in the U.S. Just who is this Swagger of a guy?
Russian rapper Timati recently announced that he will open about 50 burger joints around the world, including in the U.S., the United Arab Emirates and several countries in Central Asia. The career of this new burger tycoon has taken many unexpected twists and turns throughout the years, and he has already opened about 30 restaurants across Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. Let’s take a closer look at this man with global ambitions.
Timur Yunusov, better known as Timati, was born in 1983, and became famous in Russia in 2004 after taking part in a talent show called Fabrika Zvezd (Factory of stars).
During the show Timati had relations with a young singer, Aleksa, and together they recorded songs and filmed video clips crushing teenagers’ tears. At that time he imitated a kind of Californian R’n’B performer with his style, hair and lyrics.
The first time Timati officially called himself Black Star was in 2006, even though he has Tatar and Jewish roots, and no African blood. He released his new album, named Black Star, and launched his music recording and production company, not surprisingly called Black Star Incorporated.
Artists managed by Black Star Inc. have gone on to huge success and popularity; for example, Egor Kreed is considered to be the Russian ‘Justin Timberlake’. However, Kreed has already left the label (and faces a conflict with Black Star, which owns his stage name, and so he can no longer use it). Other popular musicians managed by Timati’s company include rappers L’One, Mot, Natan, Doni, and Scroodgee.
Next, he started his own clothing line – Black Star by TIMATI.
Timati then morphed from a romantic singer to a pert rap celebrity, covering his body with more tattoos and pretending to be a real ‘gangsta’. This transformation inspired many jokes, and almost no one took seriously the boy from the talent show.
Timati’s popularity, however, continued to grow. His song and video, ‘Dirty whores,’ shocked audiences. Full of racy eroticism (not common for the Russian pop-scene at the time) it was very similar to 50 Cent’s ‘Candyshop,’ which was popular among Russians.
From a young pert guy, Timati turned into a luxury rich boy, spending weekends on a yacht, wearing extremely expensive watches and stylish clothes by famous brands.
He had even bigger ambitions, however, and wanted to break out of the local Russian scene, and so he started recording in English. He even managed to collaborate with Snoop Dog in ‘Groove on’. The Internet joked that Snoop was too high, and didn’t realize that he was filming and singing with a Russian guy.
Timati’s clip, “Welcome to St Tropez,” recalls his club and party life, and has had more than 174 million views on YouTube.
Timati has always been recording songs with Russia’s most popular singers, as well as non-musical celebrities. One was the 2018 presidential candidate Xenia Sobchak, a socialite with a scandalous persona in the 2000s and early 2010s.
Russian media frequently called her the Russian ‘Paris Hilton’. Rumors of an alleged home porn video of Timati and Sobchak circulated, and hoping to profit from the hype they filmed the video clip for their song “Dance with me” where a half-naked Sobchak busted some sexy moves with Timati
Another controversy blew up when Timati recorded a diss about Russian pop music king – Filipp Kirkorov. In 2012, this video, which is a parody on a modern-day North Caucasian wedding song, quickly gathered millions of views ( currently more than 45 million).
Timati now has a dozen Black Star Wear shops across Russia. Recently, he produced a special military-style collection for the Russian Army that will be distributed in official shops of the Ministry of Defense. However, Internet users have found items with the same design (and ten times cheaper) on Aliexpress.
His most profitable business is widely considered to be the burger chain that he launched in 2016, and which has become incredibly popular among youth. Long lines of teenagers wait to be served in his restaurants, and dozens of his Black Star Burger joints dot the landscape across Russia and abroad: in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Recently he also launched a franchise.
Timati was the first in Moscow to suggest black disposable gloves (a reference to Black Star) for eating his burgers. The dining industry has found the idea useful and inventive, and now the gloves can be found in many other restaurants.
The secret behind the burger chain’s popularity is, of course, Timati’s own fame. He frequently cooks the burgers himself, and uploads videos showing the preparation process, as well as eating his burgers while repeatedly mentioning that the meat is juicy and delicious.
He dated Alena Shishkova, who has 6.5 million followers on Instagram and who gave birth to their daughter Alisa. Though the couple broke up they care for Alisa together. Timati’s mother, Simona, helps out and also writes a blog about the girl’s life, and already has almost 3 million followers.
Since 2015, Timati has been dating another beauty – a finalist of 2014 Miss Russia, Anastasia Reshetova.
The couple appeared in a Lays potato chips advertisement, and on Instagram they recently shared photos of their low key beach wedding.
Source Russia Beyond