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M.I Abaga Biography: Education, Career, Wife, Controversies, Awards, and Net Worth

M.I Abaga’s full name is Jude Lemfani Abaga. He’s a well-known Nigerian rapper and music producer. In 2008, he released his debut album, Talk About It. He was the CEO of Chocolate City Records from 2015 to 2019. In 2019, he established his own record label, Incredible Music. He won Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards for his oratory singing abilities.

Early Life & Education

M.I Abaga was born in Jos, Plateau State, on October 4, 1981. He is from Taraba State, which is located in northern Nigeria. He grew up in Jos and attended primary school there. M.I Abaga attended Baptist High School in Jos for his junior secondary education.

Career

M.I Abaga began singing as a child when his mother gave him basic music notation and a 7-key mini piano. He grew up listening to songs by international musicians such as Bob Marley, Pablo Maclachlan, Lauryn Hill, and others, who influenced him musically.

Jude began his hip-hop career in 1998 by recording songs by DMX and Lauryn Hill. He pursued a career in business and economics after graduating from Calvin College in Michigan, while also writing lyrics. He frequently performed there at important hip-hop events and concerts. He came in third place at Calvin College’s only “hip hop show,” dubbed “Hip Hopera,” in 2003, thanks to his impressive rap flows. M.I. also attempted some clumsy comedy, but he returned to music after feeling humiliated when no one was paying attention to it.

When Jude returned to Nigeria in 2003, he embarked on a professional singing career. After finding his place in an industry dominated by people like Modenine, Ruggedman, and Eedris Abdulkareem, he began making mixtapes with his friend Djinee. This resulted in the widely praised track “Safe,” which was widely broadcast by African radio stations and music video outlets such as MTV Vibe. Several events, including the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People, and N.E.A., recognized him for the song.

Loopy Music was founded by him and his brother, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Ruby, Threadstone, Lindsay, Moses (Elbulk), and E Kelly. M.I’s successful career in the Nigerian music industry began to take off after he relocated from Jos City to Abuja as a result of being signed to the renowned Nigerian music label, Chocolate City. In addition, he has received international recognition in South Africa from the well-known Channel O Music Awards, MTV Base Awards, and American BET Awards. DIV has dubbed M.I, a talented producer, rapper, songwriter, and musician, the “future of African hip-hop.”

He has produced music for Don Jazzy, Threadstone, Kel, Djinee, Shifi (Styl Plus), Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Hyce-age, Ruby, Lindsey, Leony, Wizkid, and others. He also co-owns a production company, Rychus Era Productions, with his brother, Jesse Abaga. In 2013, he was chosen by the Nigerian telecommunications firm Glo Mobile, along with other Nigerian artists such as Omawumi, Burna Boy, and others, to represent the company as a brand ambassador. In 2013, he was a judge on Glo X-Factor, Nigeria’s reality singing competition.

Personal Life

M.I Abaga is the younger brother of Jesse Jagz, a Nigerian musician, and Jason Abag. There was no mention of M.I being married or having a wife at the time of publication. However, in April 2022, he announced his intention to marry his woman, whom she identified as Eniola Mafe, later that year.

Mr. Incredible has finally walked down the aisle with his partner, Eniola Mafe.

The music star and his beau had their traditional wedding ceremony in Lagos on Thursday. 22nd September 2022.

The wedding ceremony was attended by celebrities including Bankole Wellington aka Banky W, IK Osakioduwa, Bright ‘Basketmouth’ Okpocha, Jesse Jags (MI’s brother) and others.

Discography

Studio Albums

  • 2018 A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl
  • 2014 The Chairman
  • 2010 MI 2: The Movie
  • 2008 Talk About It

Compilation Albums

  • 2015 The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation (with Chocolate City)

Mixtapes and playlists

  • 2018 Rendezvous
  • 2016 Illegal Music 3: The Finale
  • 2012 Illegal Music 2
  • 2009 Illegal Music

EPs

  • 2020 Judah
  • 2020 The Live Report (with A-Q)

Controversies

M.I Abaga Vs Iceberg Slim

In his song, Mr. International, from 2009, Iceberg Slim, a rapper from the US, rapped the following lines: “Am I better than M.I? I’m not sure. Am I? In actuality, you ought to ask M.I. That evidently didn’t sit well with M.I because he later dropped the single “Somebody Wants To Die” with his label partner Ice Prince.

IceBerg Slim’s “Assassination” was released less than 48 hours after M.I.’s “Somebody Wants to Die,” and according to sources, at the time of the release, his Facebook status read “Somebody Wants To Die, I’ll Be Responsible for the “Assassination.” Start the countdown now. Rap enthusiasts were engaged in a competition to determine who was the greatest rapper in Nigeria. Iceberg Slim won the hearts of Nigerian rap fans in a very brief and unusual era, whilst M.I developed more admirers and had more hit tracks. Both rappers made the decision to put their dispute behind them in 2012.

M.I Abaga Vs Kelly Hansome

M.I. Abaga and Kelly Hansome, two Nigerian musicians, had a feud that led to social media controversy. This all began when M.I. said, “Kelly Hansome is handsome, I’ll tell him when I meet him,” but Keke or D1 would be my choices if I wanted a boyfriend” in the song Fast Money, Fast Cars. In response, Kelly Hansome released Catch Me If You Can, in which he takes on the entire Chocolate City label.

Kelly Hansome did not take kindly to his statements, and from that point on, they both went track for track. Nobody Test Me, which featured a statement from M.I saying, “Only one Kelly that I know, Kelly Rowland,” was aired in response by the Choc City camp. Why would I belittle them when I can easily promote them? I should probably give them lotion because I think they’re so dry. Kelly Hansome later issued Chocolate Boys (Chocolate City members). M.I. recorded a song titled “Beef” on his 2010 album, M.I. When Kelly learned this, he played the song Finish You Boy.

M.I Abaga vs Vector

M.I. and Vector are engaged in a constant battle for rap supremacy about who is the top hip-hop rapper in Nigeria. As a result, M.I released the diss tune “The Viper” in 2019, where he implied that he had influenced entertainers more than Vector. When they both appeared in the third and final episode of “The Conversation,” a Hennessy Nigeria documentary series based on the rivalry between M.I and Vector, in December 2020, it appeared as though Vector and M.I had put an end to their conflict. The two met in person and talked about what had happened between them. Both rappers talked about the reasons behind the fight and what they thought of one another. M.I claimed he thought Vector simply didn’t like him, whilst Vector claimed he thought M.I was crafty and manipulative.

In March 2021, Vector included M.I in the song Crown of Clay, which highlighted the positive aspects of being African and denounced the destructive effects of white supremacy and imperialism. This marked the beginning of their collaboration. The two lyrical titans also collaborated on the song “Spirit,” the opening track of Hennessy’s seven-song EP “The Very Special Tape Volume 1.” The Cognac firm collaborated on the EP, which also includes rappers like Payper CorleonePreacher Kingz, and others, in an effort to promote rap culture in Africa.

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Awards & Recognition

Year Event Prize Result
2018 The Headies Best Rap Single Won
2018 The Headies Lyricist on the Roll Won
2018 The Headies The Headies Award for Best Performer Nominated
2015 The Headies Best Rap Single Nominated
2015 The Headies Album of the Year Nominted
2015 The Headies Best Rap Album Won
2011 The Headies Album of the Year Nominated
2011 The Headies Artist of the Year Nominated
2011 Diaspora Professionals, Dubai Artist of the Year Nominated
2010 The Future Awards Musician of the Year Won
2010 Malaysian African Entertainments Awards Musician of the Year Won
2010 City People Entertainment Awards Musician of the Year Won
2010 National Daily Artist of the Year Won
2010 Orange Wall of Fame Most Amiable Brand Won
2010 Hip Hop World Awards Best Rap Single Nominated
2010 Hip Hop World Awards Lyricist on the Roll Nominated
2010 BET Awards Best International Act Nominated
2009 MTV Africa Music Awards Best New Act Won
2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video Won
2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards Best Use of Special Effects in a video Won
2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards Video of The Year Nominated
2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards Best Director Nominated
2009 Nigerian Entertainment Awards Best New Act of the Year Won
2009 Hip Hop World Awards Hip Hop Revelation Won
2009 Hip Hop World Awards Best Rap Album Won
2009 Hip Hop World Awards Lyricist on the Roll Nominated
2009 The Future Awards Musician of the Year Nominated
2008 Modemen Awards Musician of the Year Won
2008 Hip Hop World Awards Best Rap Single Won
2008 Hip Hop World Awards Next Rated Nominated
2008 Hip Hop World Awards Lyricist on the Roll Nominated

Influence & Impact

Many artists, including Phyno, Wizkid, VypaJesse JagzRubyPype, Tone Ice Prince, Brymo, and Khali Graph Jones, have been made popular by M.I. He has been referred to as Nigeria’s “Hip Hop Messiah” by many Nigerian hip-hop aficionados. MI, who serves as the ideal illustration of how to bring Nigeria together, has contributed significantly to adding a Northern presence to the Nigerian music industry. He is the owner of Incredible Music and Loopy Records. M.I. produced albums and songs for his label mates while working in the music industry with Chocolate City.

In 2012, the UN selected M.I Abaga to serve as a goodwill ambassador. He is known all over the world for being at the forefront of the “Afrobeats” genre.

Net Worth

According to reports gathered from different sources online, M.I Abaga’s net worth is estimated at around $4 million. His sources of income are attached to his experience in the music industry and the different signature of ambassadorial deals with multi-national companies.

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Written by PH

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