After 3 solid albums and 2 classic mixtapes, Ngwide 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 whenhe 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 whichhe 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 amongs tothers.
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.
M.I is Nigeria’s most influential rapper (FACTS ONLY). The rapper has metamorphosed from an ordinary rapper to a label chief and he did that by not leaving the label that birthed his career – a feat only few artistes can boast of in the world. While at it, M.I also has industry influence and his colleagues respect him a lot.
He was hyped by his colleagues during his meeting with Tony Elumelu has he gave rappers a new new image like Dr Dre is doing in the United states right now. M.I was appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2012.
All the 4 points above will be meaningless if M.I was not able to a mass wealth. He is likely the richest rapper in the land.Most Nigerian rappers don’t have any existing deal but even inthe scarcity M.I linked a new deal with Cognac brand Martell.The rapper also represents Globacom and has spent the most part of the year performing for Star.
M.I pulls over at events in his Mercedes Benz G-55 or his Bentley Coupe. Which rapper has a better fleet? None.