You can’t mention Best African rappers without M.I Abaga

You can’t mention Best African rappers without M.I Abaga

has embodied various personas during the course of his long career; with numerous hits and successful albums, he has proven to be one of Africa’s best rappers.

Hip-Hop in Africa has been a growing genre, evolving and finding its place in history; for M.I Abaga, it was more than just been the best but redefining a genre and leading a new reign of rappers.

Prior to M.I’s entrance into the music scene in 2006, the Nigerian Hip-Hop community had rappers like Ruggedman, Modenine, Eedris Abdulkareem, Eldee among others.

However, there was a switch that came with his entry into the Industry; the rap genre was beginning to enter a new phase that he would lead as its messiah.

When Jude ‘M.I’ Abaga released his Crowd Mentality single in 2006, he started his ascent into the list of Africa’s Best Rappers book.

Nigerian hip-hop heads applauded the novelty of his concept, the audacity of his humorous lyrics crammed into bars, and a fair dose of social satire.

While “Crowd Mentality” was the John the Baptist, wetting an already fertile soil, his Djinee-assisted “Safe” was the seed that blossomed into a fruitful venture for him.

His debut album, “Talk About It“, which was released on December 11, 2008, was an acknowledgement that the hip-hop torch held by Hip-Hop rulers such as Modenine and Ruggedman could be passed on to him.

That recognition showed itself in him winning Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards, as well as being nominated for Best International Act at the 2010 BET Awards the following year.

What would follow was a couple of projects, some of which are classics.

In 2010, M.I teamed up with Flavour on the Hip-Hop/Highlife tune, “Number One” where he bragged about his prowess and what makes him special.

When you look at his career overall and the impact he has had on Hip-Hop in Nigeria, his lyrics on that song hold some water.

With the release of his debut album “Talk About It“, the Nigerian Hip-Hop scene witnessed the birth of a new star and forever altered the Hip-hop scene in Nigeria.

The album not only put him on the radar, but it also helped him break into the elite class of rappers with a mean pen game and faultless delivery, cementing his status as one of the most influential rappers of all time.

“Talk About It” is the key to the glory age in terms of cultural effect, success, ground-breaking moments, and just challenging the status quo.

The album’s popularity paved the way for a new generation of rappers to enter the industry, confident that they could reach a larger, and more significantly, responsive audience with their music.

However, “Talk about It” wasn’t M.I’s last bus stop, it was more like a foundation- M.I followed up with several projects numbering about ten (3 Solo albums, 1 Compilation album, 4 Mixtapes, 2 EPs).

His evolution is also seen on every project where he keeps trying and experimenting and while sometimes this has caused some hitches, most of the time, it has earned him more fans and boosted his OG status.

One of these notable evolution was his sophomore album, “MI 2: The Movie” which was released in 2010. On This album, M.I plays the main protagonist of an action film one can liken to Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible.”

With features from 2Baba, Bola Adebisi, Brymo, Flavour, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Julius Ceaser, Femi Odukoya, Loose Kaynon, Praiz, Ruby Gyang, Timaya and Waje, M.I had a lot to give and he didn’t disappoint.

On this album, M.I took on the cloak of different personas; the loverboy, the cocky prince of Hip-Hop, the activist amongst others.

M.I is not just a rapper but also a music genius who also helped contribute to the careers of the likes of Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Wizkid, Ruby Gyang, Brymo and others.

While signed under Chocolate City Records, he headed the record label from 2015 to 2019 as the CEO. In 2020, he announced his exit from the label and launched his own label, Incredible Music under which he is currently releasing music.

Thanks to his over 17 career awards including a nomination in the Best International Act category at the 2010 BET Awards, M.I is one of the most awarded African rappers of his time.

Described by many Nigerian hip hop fans as Nigeria’s “Hip Hop Messiah”, M.I has done a lot to bring not just to keep Hip Hop alive in a Pop dominated Industry but also to bring Northern presence to the South dominated Nigerian music industry.

When you list the number of best Rappers in Nigeria, M.I tops this list.

Written by naijarated

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