M.I Abaga was born on October 4th, 1981 as Jude Abaga in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. The M.I in his name stands for Mr. Incredible. He was first introduced to music in high school when his mom bought him music notations and a 7-key mini piano. Growing up he listened to a diverse group of artists including Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Maclachlan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z, and DMX. He pursued a Business and Economics career at Calvin College in Michigan, USA. At Calvin, he performed at hip hop shows and concerts and won third place at their HipHopera show.
In 2003, M.I came back to Nigeria and started making mixtapes. His song “Safe” is what started his music career. In the lyrics of “Safe”, he parodied popular Nigerian songs in his lyrics.
For example, in the first stanza of his song he says, “Yo! It’s the way that they do me, do me, do me, do me, (Are we safe right here?), The way that they do me”. This is sampled from P-Square’s “Do Me”.
“Safe” was played on African radio stations and music video stations. M.I also earned awards from Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People, N.E.A., and others for “Safe”. In 2008, he dropped his first studio album Talk About It. In 2009, he released a sample mixtape named: Illegal Music but, his first mixtape was PYERIBOY.
M.I was signed to Chocolate City and relocated from Jos, Nigeria to Abuja, Nigeria. From there he received international recognition. M.I. has been recognized as the future of African hip-hop and is said to have helped Afrobeats become recognized worldwide. His lyrical flow has been compared to Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z. He became CEO of Chocolate City from 2015-2019.
As of today, M.I. has 8 studio albums and 2 EPs. His most recent music video, “Playlist” is from his 7th album titled, Rendezvous. Besides “Playlist”, I also really love the song, “The Crew” featuring Yung L and U.ax.
As of March 2021, M.I departed from Chocolate City and started his own record label, Incredible Music. I know this is the start of something new and I can’t wait to hear his future bangers!
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