Tooxclusive | Download Nigerian Songs & Videos

Is MI Abaga The Greatest Nigerian Rapper Ever?

Posted by Jim Donnett on July 12, 2017 in Editorial · 39 Comments


It might never be officially announced, M.I might never be officially crowned the greatest rapper ever in Nigeria but his impact on the Nigerian hip-hop culture would be told from fathers to sons and from sons to scions.

There was a time in Nigeria when what we called rap was mostly mumbling of words. There was not much of the metaphors, the fluidity and imaginativeness that is enjoyed in Nigerian rap today. There weren’t many rappers in those days, and the few that existed struggled to sell the music genre to the Nigerian audience, most of whom were reluctant to try anything other than the conventional Afro-Pop music. Pitching rap to Nigerians then, was like trying to sell ice to the Eskimos.

In those days, the rappers that we had were either too unimaginative for the real hip-hop heads or they used too many big words, that the average Nigerian music lover found it difficult to grasp and appreciate the content of their music. Nobody seemed to be able to be put together the perfect model of rap music that could gain acceptance in Nigeria and the respect of music lovers outside Nigeria. Nobody, until M.I appeared on the scene with Safe.

M.I’s Safe was a sample of Nigerian rap music that the fans fell in love with and accepted, almost totally. It was catchy, perky, yet the lyrics to the song was rich. M.I did a mashup of fan-favourite songs at the time, to create an amazing freestyle that later became everyone’s favourite song. With Safe, M.I got the right market formula that got people to look in his direction, wanting to listen to his musical offering.

M.I became successful with Safe but his success was not prima facie. His debut song, Crowd Mentality, with its poetic nature and its effect of getting the cheers of the crowd, was mostly popular in Jos, his homeland. It was the follow-up songs like Safe, Short Black Boy, Fast Money Fast Cars that really helped his name spread in the rap campaign.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 5 Celebrity Fights That Shook The Industry

Like Kanye did with The College Drop Out and Kendrick did with Good Kid MAAd City, M.I’s Talk About It album had a seismic impact on the industry with its commercial success. It was said that over 30,000 copies of the album was sold in the first 30 minutes of its release. It was a miracle for a rap album to sell at that rate in Nigeria, and at that time. It was like the manifestation of a prophecy, because as soon as it was released, the whole industry was talking about it. The success of the Talk About It album made M.I one of the vanguards of what would become the new age of rap music in Nigeria.

The short black boy from Jos went from Talk About It to making hundreds of amazing rap songs, getting featured on many others and till today, he still has the mic in his hands. He has put together two other commercially successful and critically acclaimed studio albums, M.I2 and M.I3 (The Chairman). To attest to the dominance of M.I in the area of compiling rap albums, I’d point out the fact that he won the Headies award for best rap album for each of his three studio albums. How often do we get to see this?

More so, M.I would remain a celebrated figure in the rap circle for fronting one of the best rap groups Nigeria has ever known, the Choc Boys. The M.I led and inspired group made some of the biggest and most impactful songs released by any Nigerian rap group. The influence of M.I in the group cannot be overplayed. He was the big brother, the mentor, the label boss; something like Jay-Z to Kanye West. Together, the Choc Boys were brilliant, and individually, they are accomplished artistes.

In his journey to becoming a rap great, a journey that has spanned over thirteen years, M.I started a series of mixtape releases that he titled Illegal Music. Except you choose to hide the truth, you’d agree that Illegal Music 1, 2 & 3 are some of the best mixtape albums you’d find around here. The arrangement, the depth and the overall beauty of the art is appreciable in each of the mixtapes. In one of the songs on Illegal Music 2, M.I said, “tell me what it costs to be great, I’d pay the whole bill”. This rap line describes M.I’s sacrifices and contribution to the rap game. It tells how much M.I has given, to sit on the exalted seat that he occupies today.

Part of his legacy is the number of artistes that he has rolled down the ladder for. I first got to listen to Wizkid, Jesse Jagz, Boogey, Koker, Shaydee on M.I’s projects. Some of these artistes lit their torch from there and now, they stand on the biggest stages of world music, shining the light for the world to see.

ALSO READ: 10 Artistes That Have Promoted Fraudsters With Their Music

One of the things that make legends is the range of impact they make with their works and M.I has been able to inspire a new generation of creative minds; artistes, poets and writers to search the deepest places for beautiful elements of African art to show the world. Even till today, his concluding words in Crowd Mentality remains a work of reference for hustlers and soldiers of destiny. His message is for you to;

“Be yourself Yo!
Be Black, Be Beautiful, Be Strong,
Be Correct, Be Nice, Be Good
Be Right, Be Tight, Be Alright
Be Creative, Be Native, Be Real
Have Skills, Stand Tall
And be all you can be.”

Like the seasons, rappers come and go, but the legacy of M.I would live long after him. It is pleasing to see M.I still active, making music and enriching the rap culture in Nigeria. Rap is today, one of the most marketable music genres in the industry and the works of M.I stand in the frontline with the bestsellers and most impactful of all time.

Not all heroes wear capes. Not all legends are in heaven, some still live amongst us. One legend still entering the booth and climbing the stage today is the Music Innovator, the Most Immaculate, Mr Incredible, M.I.

Written by Ibironke Oluwatobi
@ibironketweets



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


ABOUT AUTHOR
I have magic in my hands and I'm excited to be sharin' it with the world.
Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

32 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. he should have been, if he continued as usual, but these day are different. #MI2

  2. he is my best, the best….

  3. Accurate! Nobody comes close.

  4. Hell mudafuckin yeah

  5. god bless you ibironke, MI should be talked about.

  6. So you know all this & ya all still come up with Hilarious list’s?

  7. He is d best rapper in Africa

    • Yeah… He is d best rapper in Africa… Cassper novyest of SA even said it himself

  8. Mi is is too withy…a Genius and no one comes close in Africa

  9. M.I is like the best out there in the rap scene now..but plss he should go to Work!

  10. This is the best write-up I have read on this page. Nice one Ibironke

  11. he is arguably one of the best rapper in Africa if not the best:::::::to me he’s the best

  12. MI is the greatest ever

  13. I cudnt agree more

  14. I dnt give 1 f*ck wat m.i has done.. Dagrin will forever remain d best we’ve ever seen until som1 else comes to take his place… Period!

  15. I dnt 1 fuck wat m.i has done.. Dagrin is still gonn b d best we’ve ever seen till som1 else fills up dat void.. Period!

  16. M.I js the greatest by far

  17. m. I is the best rapper in Africa but plz tell him we need new music

  18. He z that one guy that can jumb on any nd every beat nd kill it…..#MI “…nobody can test me, even if u’ve got testis I’m a prick…”

  19. He z that one guy that can jump on any/every beat nd kill it…”…nobody can test me, even if u’ve got testis I’m a prick…”

  20. Pls help us tell MI that we are patiently waiting for him to drop more hits. Just imagine me checking everyday to see a new MI song. MI pls DO SOMETHING OOOOO

  21. I will say Vector, MI does no freestyle.

    • am disappointed @ u for what u just said… dem no be mate

  22. Music Innovator, the Most Immaculate, Mr Incredible, M.I.!!!!!!!!! baddest

  23. ycee is

  24. every other rapper should learn from d lyrical beast in the rap world….
    Mi……
    others r joking

  25. MI is lyrically inclined. Its not like there are no gud rappers but pls just listen to MI lyrics. Vector is second to him

  26. Please don’t put Africa in this…..sarkodie is the first second and third the rest now follow…Am a Nigerian….sarkodie is different Abeg

    • Sark may be a better rapper than M.I, but M.I is greater.
      It’s like Jay-Z & Eminem. Eminem is better, Jay-Z is greater.

  27. Bring all the rappers worthy of mentions in here, they will tell you that Jude is the one and only Moses. He helped us all cross the red sea. And in MI’s words
    “there’s no man ill-er (Manila) except from the one in the Philippines”
    Y’all please sound the Drums for the Leader, he deserves everything good.

  28. Best m.i

  29. nice one `

7 total pingbacks on this post

tooXclusive © 2017 All Rights Reserved