After 3 solid albums and 2 classic mixtapes, 36NG takes a look at what separates Nigerian rapper M.I from the rest of the pack today October 4th as he clocks 34 years old.
M.I has the arguably the most solid brand in Nigerian music let to talk of the rap genre. The rapper has not been involved in any scandal or troubles since he broke out with Safe. M.I has been able to manage feuds well most notably the one Kelly Hansome threw at him. Kelly intended to use M.I to climb up the music ladder but the Jos born rapper did him no favors.
When the name M.I is mentioned, you think in the direction of Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye West (sort of)… Such is his level of imagery in the music game. (Plus he doesn’t have a tattoo… If that matters)
M.I has been Nigeria’s formost rapper for about 7 years, a feat that is hard to do when you consider the number of rappers in the game. M.I, born Jude Abaga began his music career when he returned to Nigeria in 2003. Finding his place in an industry dominated by the likes of Modenine, Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem, he quickly commenced the production of mixtapes with his friend Djinee.
This led to the critically acclaimed single “Safe”, (a song which he parodied popular Nigerian songs in its lyrics) which has gathered impressive airplay by African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. The track also earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People, N.E.A amongst others.
The sky has been the beginning for M ever since and he has released 3 albums, M.I 1 (Talk About It), M.I 2 ( The Movie) and Chairman. M.I also boast of 2 classy mixtapes, Illegal Music 1 and Illegal Music 2
M.I Abaga remains the only Nigerian rapper that has been able to achieve success in music while going commercial and still representing Hip-Hop. Even in M.I’s most commercial songs, you are more likely to find a classic bar in his verses unlike his colleagues who have totally diluted their art.
M.I traditionally goes commercial in his albums while punching lines in his Illegal Music series, despite this he still maintains a great stability.