M.I Abaga is a Nigerian rapper/hip-hop artist and a record producer whose lyrical prowess makes him an outstanding recording artiste in the country’s music industry.
Since gaining prominence in 2006 with his song Crowd Mentality, M.I has won several awards including Best Hip-Hop and Best Rap Album at the Hip Hop World Awards; and several nominations since 2008 to date. He is currently the CEO of Chocolate City, a music and entertainment company which was established in 2015.
M.I Abaga Biography
Jude (M.I) Abaga, was born on October 4, 1981, in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He is originally from Taraba State as his parents, Pastor and Mrs. Abaga are both from Takum. Growing up in Jos with his two brothers – Jesse (Jagz) and Jason Abaga, M.I attended Baptist High School, Jos. As a teenager, his interest in music was piqued after his mother purchased basic music notations and 7-key mini piano for him.
Furthering his tertiary education in the U.S. in the 1990s, M.I would listen to tracks from famous rappers like DMX, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, and others. While majoring in Business and Economics at Calvin College, Michigan, he delved into poetry and would often perform at the school’s hip-hop shows and concerts.
With his active participation and rapping prowess, Mr Incredible, as he is fondly called, made it to the third-place at the college show themed ‘HipHopera’ in 2003. It was the only rap show the school ever had. M.I also tried his hands on stand up comedy but a few flops made him stick to what his first love – music.
He took off with his music career in Nigeria after he returned in 2003. M.I started producing mixtapes with his friend, Djinee and it wasn’t long before he released his first mixtape titled PYERIBOY. His single Safe gained impressive airplay in African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. Not only did Nigerians loved it, the track earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards.
The subsequent release of his first studio album title Talk About It cinched his career success and popularity. M.I was rated 8.5/10 by Oye Akideinde of 360nobs and won the City People Awards for Best Hip Hop Artist and Musician of the Year 2008.
Motivated by his mounting fame, M.I dropped a sample mixtape in 2009 and 2012 titled: Illegal Music I and II. He later teamed up with several music artists Lindsay, Ice Prince, including to brother Jesse Jagz, and others to establish Loopy Music – a company that is currently merged with Chocolate City.
After he got signed by Chocolate City, M.I moved from Jos to Abuja. From there onwards, his recognition ricochet across Nigeria to South Africa and the US where he was acknowledged by MTVbase Awards, Channel O Music Award as well as American BET Awards.
His other songs/studio album till date include The Chairman (2014); The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation (2015), and Illegal Music 3 – The Finale (2016) – an album in which he introduced the new rap sensation, KhaliGraph Jones. On February 9, 2018, he released his fourth studio album Rendezvous: The Playlist.
Other Facts You Need To Know About M.I Abaga
1. M.I Abaga has been described as a proficient instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, and lyricist. His rapping techniques are likened to that of Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye West.
3. He currently runs a production company, Rytchus Era Productions in partnership with his brother, Jesse (Jagz) Abaga
4. M.I was Glo Mobile’s brand ambassador In 2013, along with other entertainers like Burna Boy. And was also a judge at Glo X-Factor, the Nigerian version of the reality singing show.
5. He is regarded as the hip-hop Messiah of Nigeria as he is credited for raising many artists such as Wizkid, Jesse Jagz, Vypa, Ruby, Tone, Ice Prince, Pype, Brymo, and KhaliGraph Jones.
6. Walking the road to success didn’t come without controversies. His feud with competitive rappers, Kelly Handsome and Iceberg Slim were quite a media sensation. But as Iceberg stated in 2009, “it was a healthy competition in Hip-Hop.”
6. So far, Mr Incredible has won 18 global awards and 22 nominations.
7. M.I once declared his respect for his fan base in on Instagram. According to him, every music project is a piece of his life, therefore he “will never rush music.”
Watch M.I song titled: ‘Your Father’