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MI Abaga: The Consistency Of Nigerian Hip-Hop Revivalist

Oct 04

MI Abaga: The Consistency Of Nigerian Hip-Hop Revivalist

The Consistency Of Nigerian Hip Hop Revivalist, MI Abaga. Jude Lemfani Abaga, popularly known as M.I has written his name in the golden book of the Nigerian music industry, from impacting hip-hop culture for over a decade and a half as one of Africa’s biggest rap acts and also owning a standard record label that discovered some of Nigeria’s most remarkable talent. In this article, we wrote about his feat in the hip-hop evolution, his just released album, and everything in between.

The discussion of any conversation that revolves around the evolution of Nigerian Hip-Hop over the years will remain incomplete without the worthy mention of "The Guy" MI Abaga. Many might not remember this. Today's kids will not recognize or have an inkling of the time MI stamped his influence on this sphere.

MI Abaga: The Influence On Hip-hop Music Industry and "The Guy" Album.

MI Abaga the Guy Album Artwork

Ever since MI dropped his critically acclaimed debut album "Talk About It" in 2008, after riding on the achievement waves of his hit song "Crowd Mentality" in 2006. Jude Abaga has since then remained relevant and as well successfully carved his name in the Nigerian Hip Hop Hall of Fame.

MI isn't the first Nigerian rapper at that period — it was that exact period the likes of Ruggedman, Modenine, and Eedris Abdulkareem were dominating the Nigerian hip-hop scene with word plays, hardcore raps, witty lyrics, and punchlines that were difficult for most Nigerians to comprehend.

Mr. Incredible, the full abbreviation meaning for (M.I) came into the game, like a thief at night and completely commanded a paradigm shift with his kind of rap style. Transformed the rap culture and made it even more sociable. He initiated a style of creating a sweet spot between deep lyricism and commercial appeal in almost all the rap projects he released. At this time, only a handful of Nigerian musicians could boast of this achievement.

From faultless verses with hard-hitting punchlines to the most admiring of love songs to conveying socio-political and mental health issues, he's been there, done that.

MI Abaga Picture

It's no doubt that after some years, after the period rap culture emerged in Nigeria in the 80s. The hip-hop genre witnessed massive growth and acceptance that made it rise to be even more commercially friendly to the extent that it's been delivered in various languages.

The continuous growth curve of the Hip-hop culture since then has influenced and birthed some of Nigeria’s most notable entertainment exports, and it continues to be a tenet for ambitious and emerging young music talents in the country and beyond.

Years rolled by and reviving the culture of rap in Nigeria became a recurrent conversation in the music industry. MI and other rappers didn't switch genres when some of the hardcore rappers went commercial, but the acceptance was diminishing. Recall that, it took a while before the sound permeated the soundscape and made a cultural impact in Nigeria, even when the genre was a big deal in the 70s in America, instead, prominent music genres like afrobeat and afro juju consistently reverberated at parties here in Nigeria.

MI Abaga Picture

The diminishing factor of culture is owed to the reduction of artists creating hip-hop sounds. Almost 8 out of 10 new artists on the block invest more in afrobeat sounds than Hip-Hop because there's not enough market in the Nigerian Music Industry to support rappers financially. This is because Afrobeat has become one of the most demanded genres on the global stage. We now have top artists from different continents creating Afrobeats music. Artists like Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, and others.

Throughout this "Afrobeats to the world" agenda. M.I remains true to the art, he's like the last man standing of his generation and even in the generations after him. Last month, the rap legend released a new single titled "The Guy" — a rap single ahead of his The Guy album. In this track, MI infused heavy bass into catchy and skillfully executed lyrics which makes it one for both casual listeners and hip hop heads. "The Guy" is further proof that M.I remains the African Rap King.

M.I also confirmed that he's changed his stage name from MI Abaga to ‘The Guy’ — a build-up to his self-titled just-released album titled ’The Guy’. An album with featured artists like Nas, Olamide, Jesse Jagz, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, Duncan Mighty, BNXN (fka Buju), and others appearing on the tracklist.

In conclusion, it's crystal clear that M.I's influence on Hip Hop evolution cannot be overemphasized. Some music critics say Vector is Nigeria’s rap GOAT and some bring up Mode 9 but is this up for a debate again? No Nigerian rapper is lyrically better than MI, or even more acceptable and consistent.

Who do you think has invested more in the rap culture in Nigeria than M.I Abaga? Let's hear your thoughts.

SOURCE: TrendyBeatz

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