Jude “M.I Abaga” Abaga can beat his chest today and declare: “I’m the best rapper in Africa” without being seen as a brute. Why? To simply answer: He has put in the ‘10 hours a day, 7 days a week’ work rate to be able to claim such. For 16 years, M.I Abaga has been one of the notable figures who helped shape the nature of Nigeria’s Hip-Hop/Rap sector and Africa by large but after building acclaim with his name, garnering respect from his peers and industry colleagues and achieving massive success, he has decided to retire the “M.I Abaga” moniker and take on a new professional name.
M.I Abaga’s reason for the name change simply reads: “MY NEW ALBUM [IS] HARD AF AND IT DESERVES A NEW NAME (sic)” as seen on his social media pages. The announcement follows an open invite for all to come and witness his final performance as Mr Incredible on the 10th of July at The Vibe, Lagos; this final performance serves as a celebration of M.I Abaga’s legacy.
M.I Abaga’s legacy is solidified. He was the CEO of Chocolate City Music (2015 – 2019) which saw other talents such as Ice Prince and Brymo blossom and is currently overseeing the rise of Blaqbonez before stepping down to start his imprint known as Incredible Music in 2020. He has four albums to his name with the addition of the “Rendevouz” playlist. With several awards nominations, he has been honoured to win ‘Best New Act’ and ‘Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video’ at the MTV Africa Music Awards (2009), 2018 Headies’ ‘Lyricist on the Roll’, City People Entertainment Award (2009), ‘Best Rap Album’ for “The Chairman” in 2015 and two plaques at the Hip Hop World Albums (2009) for ‘Best Rap Album’ (“Talk About It”) and ‘Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year’ amongst others.
At the age of 40, M.I Abaga is ready to start afresh (as the case may be) under a newly branded stage name which will be revealed as his album rollout continues.