The full name of M.I Abaga is Jude Lemfani Abaga. He is a popular Nigerian rapper and music producer. He released his debut album titled Talk About It in 2008. From 2015 to 2019, he worked as the CEO of Chocolate City record label. In 2019, he launched his own record label named Incredible Music. Due to his oratory singing prowess, he was awarded the Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards.
M.I Abaga Biography
Jude Lemfani Abaga
October 4, 1981
Plateau State, Nigeria
African Rapper | Music Producer
Jesse Jagz (Brother)
Jason Abag (Brother)
Early Life & Education
M.I Abaga was born on the 4th of October, 1981, in Jos, Plateau State. He hails from Taraba State, which falls in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. He grew up in Jos, where he had his primary school education. M.I Abaga went to Baptist High School, Jos for his junior secondary school education.
M.I Abaga started singing in his childhood days when his mother got him basic music notation and a 7-key mini piano for him. In his early childhood, he enjoyed listening to songs by international musicians like Bob Marley, Pablo Maclachlan, Lauryn Hill, and so on, from whom he also got his musical inspiration.
Jude started his hip-hop career in 1998 with the recording of songs by DMX and Lauryn Hill. After attending Calvin College in Michigan, he pursued a career in business and economics while also writing lyrics. He frequently played there at important hip-hop events and concerts held at the school. He came in third place at the only “hip hop show” Calvin College has held, dubbed “Hip Hopera,” in 2003, attributed to his impressive rap flows. M.I. also made some clumsy attempts at comedy, but he settled on sticking to music after feeling humiliated when no one was giving it attention.
When Jude returned to Nigeria in 2003, he started his singing career on a professional ground. He started making mixtapes with his friend Djinee after finding his role in an industry dominated by people like Modenine, Ruggedman, and Eedris Abdulkareem. This produced the widely praised track “Safe,” which received excellent broadcast by African radio stations and music video outlets like MTV Vibe. He received recognition for the song at several events, including the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People, and N.E.A.
He founded Loopy Music with his brother, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Ruby, Threadstone, Lindsay, Moses (Elbulk), and E Kelly. After moving from Jos City to Abuja as a result of being signed to the renowned Nigerian music label, Chocolate City, M.I’s successful career in the country’s music industry also began to take off. Additionally, he has been honored internationally in South Africa by the well-known Channel O Music Awards, MTV Base Awards, and American BET Awards. M.I, a talented producer, rapper, songwriter, and musician, has been called the future of African hip-hop by DIV.
He has worked with musicians such as Don Jazzy, Threadstone, Kel, Djinee, Shifi (Styl Plus), Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Hyce-age, Ruby, Lindsey, Leony, Wizkid, and others to produce their music. Along with his brother, Jesse Abaga, he also co-owns a production firm called Rychus Era Productions. Along with other Nigerian artists, including Omawumi, Burna Boy, and others, he was chosen by the Nigerian telecommunications firm Glo Mobile to represent the company as a brand ambassador in 2013. In 2013, he served as a judge for Glo X-Factor, the reality singing competition in Nigeria.
M.I Abaga has two brothers, Jesse Jagz, who is also a Nigerian musician, and Jason Abag. At the time of this publication, there was no report of M.I being married or having a wife. However, in April 2022, he announced his plans to get married later in the year to his woman, who she described as Eniola Mafe.
- 2018 A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl
- 2014 The Chairman
- 2010 MI 2: The Movie
- 2008 Talk About It
- 2015 The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation (with Chocolate City)
Mixtapes and playlists
- 2018 Rendezvous
- 2016 Illegal Music 3: The Finale
- 2012 Illegal Music 2
- 2009 Illegal Music
- 2020 Judah
- 2020 The Live Report (with A-Q)
M.I Abaga Vs Iceberg Slim
In his song, Mr. International, from 2009, Iceberg Slim, a rapper from the US, rapped the following lines: “Am I better than M.I? I’m not sure. Am I? In actuality, you ought to ask M.I. That evidently didn’t sit well with M.I because he later dropped the single “Somebody Wants To Die” with his label partner Ice Prince.
IceBerg Slim’s “Assassination” was released less than 48 hours after M.I.’s “Somebody Wants to Die,” and according to sources, at the time of the release, his Facebook status read “Somebody Wants To Die, I’ll Be Responsible for the “Assassination.” Start the countdown now. Rap enthusiasts were engaged in a competition to determine who was the greatest rapper in Nigeria. Iceberg Slim won the hearts of Nigerian rap fans in a very brief and unusual era, whilst M.I developed more admirers and had more hit tracks. Both rappers made the decision to put their dispute behind them in 2012.
M.I Abaga Vs Kelly Hansome
M.I. Abaga and Kelly Hansome, two Nigerian musicians, had a feud that led to social media controversy. This all began when M.I. said, “Kelly Hansome is handsome, I’ll tell him when I meet him,” but Keke or D1 would be my choices if I wanted a boyfriend” in the song Fast Money, Fast Cars. In response, Kelly Hansome released Catch Me If You Can, in which he takes on the entire Chocolate City label.
Kelly Hansome did not take kindly to his statements, and from that point on, they both went track for track. Nobody Test Me, which featured a statement from M.I saying, “Only one Kelly that I know, Kelly Rowland,” was aired in response by the Choc City camp. Why would I belittle them when I can easily promote them? I should probably give them lotion because I think they’re so dry. Kelly Hansome later issued Chocolate Boys (Chocolate City members). M.I. recorded a song titled “Beef” on his 2010 album, M.I. When Kelly learned this, he played the song Finish You Boy.
M.I Abaga vs Vector
M.I. and Vector are engaged in a constant battle for rap supremacy about who is the top hip-hop rapper in Nigeria. As a result, M.I released the diss tune “The Viper” in 2019, where he implied that he had influenced entertainers more than Vector. When they both appeared in the third and final episode of “The Conversation,” a Hennessy Nigeria documentary series based on the rivalry between M.I and Vector, in December 2020, it appeared as though Vector and M.I had put an end to their conflict. The two met in person and talked about what had happened between them. Both rappers talked about the reasons behind the fight and what they thought of one another. M.I claimed he thought Vector simply didn’t like him, whilst Vector claimed he thought M.I was crafty and manipulative.
In March 2021, Vector included M.I in the song Crown of Clay, which highlighted the positive aspects of being African and denounced the destructive effects of white supremacy and imperialism. This marked the beginning of their collaboration. The two lyrical titans also collaborated on the song “Spirit,” the opening track of Hennessy’s seven-song EP “The Very Special Tape Volume 1.” The Cognac firm collaborated on the EP, which also includes rappers like Payper Corleone, Preacher Kingz, and others, in an effort to promote rap culture in Africa.
Awards & Recognition
|2018||The Headies||Best Rap Single||Won|
|2018||The Headies||Lyricist on the Roll||Won|
|2018||The Headies||The Headies Award for Best Performer||Nominated|
|2015||The Headies||Best Rap Single||Nominated|
|2015||The Headies||Album of the Year||Nominted|
|2015||The Headies||Best Rap Album||Won|
|2011||The Headies||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|2011||The Headies||Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2011||Diaspora Professionals, Dubai||Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2010||The Future Awards||Musician of the Year||Won|
|2010||Malaysian African Entertainments Awards||Musician of the Year||Won|
|2010||City People Entertainment Awards||Musician of the Year||Won|
|2010||National Daily||Artist of the Year||Won|
|2010||Orange Wall of Fame||Most Amiable Brand||Won|
|2010||Hip Hop World Awards||Best Rap Single||Nominated|
|2010||Hip Hop World Awards||Lyricist on the Roll||Nominated|
|2010||BET Awards||Best International Act||Nominated|
|2009||MTV Africa Music Awards||Best New Act||Won|
|2009||Nigerian Music Video Awards||Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video||Won|
|2009||Nigerian Music Video Awards||Best Use of Special Effects in a video||Won|
|2009||Nigerian Music Video Awards||Video of The Year||Nominated|
|2009||Nigerian Music Video Awards||Best Director||Nominated|
|2009||Nigerian Entertainment Awards||Best New Act of the Year||Won|
|2009||Hip Hop World Awards||Hip Hop Revelation||Won|
|2009||Hip Hop World Awards||Best Rap Album||Won|
|2009||Hip Hop World Awards||Lyricist on the Roll||Nominated|
|2009||The Future Awards||Musician of the Year||Nominated|
|2008||Modemen Awards||Musician of the Year||Won|
|2008||Hip Hop World Awards||Best Rap Single||Won|
|2008||Hip Hop World Awards||Next Rated||Nominated|
|2008||Hip Hop World Awards||Lyricist on the Roll||Nominated|
Influence & Impact
Many artists, including Phyno, Wizkid, Vypa, Jesse Jagz, Ruby, Pype, Tone Ice Prince, Brymo, and Khali Graph Jones, have been made popular by M.I. He has been referred to as Nigeria’s “Hip Hop Messiah” by many Nigerian hip-hop aficionados. MI, who serves as the ideal illustration of how to bring Nigeria together, has contributed significantly to adding a Northern presence to the Nigerian music industry. He is the owner of Incredible Music and Loopy Records. M.I. produced albums and songs for his label mates while working in the music industry with Chocolate City.
In 2012, the UN selected M.I Abaga to serve as a goodwill ambassador. He is known all over the world for being at the forefront of the “Afrobeats” genre.
According to reports gathered from different sources online, M.I Abaga’s net worth is estimated at around $4 million. His sources of income are attached to his experience in the music industry and the different signature of ambassadorial deals with multi-national companies.
Social Media Handles
M.I Abaga has a huge fanbase on social media platforms, most especially on Instagram and Twitter. He has over 1.9 million followers on Twitter, while he has over 1.2 million followers on Instagram. You can follow him through the following social media handles.