Veteran MC, M.I Abaga’s newest album, The Guy, is just the perfect title as it addresses core issues of manhood—toxic masculinity, maturity, romance and relationships, respect, providing for loved ones and legacy but still strikes a balance by providing commercial records for the listeners’ sheer pleasure.
Two recurring themes in The Guy are introspection and romance. As per the romance records on the album, a distinct Highlife production ensues, carrying the love theme and M.I Abaga’s bars on its light-hearted joyous vibrations; tracks like The Love Song, The Inside and The Front Door boast of this.
Another thing The Guy boasts of is the brilliant production of the tracks as M.I Abaga infuses elements of Hip-Hop, Afropop, Amapiano and Highlife to create a fluid soundscape for his wide-ranged audience. Major thanks to Chopstix (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 12), G-Plus Chang (tracks 1, 9, 10 and 11), Geek Beats (tracks 1 and 7), BeatsByJayy (track 3), Tempoe (track 5) and Masterkraft (track 8) and Jesse Jagz on the final track for their instinctive beat making skills.
In The Guy, M.I makes one thing clear: he is THE GUY. How? Well-refined bars to match his audacious cadence make it conspicuous. However, he does not tell these stories alone, he taps the ‘god MC’ Nas and ‘Voice of the Streets’ turned ‘Nigerian music OG’ Olamide on Bigger, as they share their everlasting impact on the culture and the weight that comes with; Duncan Mighty’s vocals in The Front Door is just the perfect add-on to M.I Abaga’s lovestruck admissions; Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz toast to living a fulfilled life and wish for it to continue in More Life; Tomi Owo encourages people to embrace their scars and strive for a better living condition in Soldier; Wande Coal’s infectious tone lighten up the mood in The Love Song; soft life advocate, Lord Vino, yearns for a wealthy life of comfort like mogul Tony Elumelu in Soft Life Tony; Phyno & The Cavemen. bring the Igbo Highlife flavour in The Inside; Chillz’s bouncy hook matches the uptempo beat in Daddy; BNXN sings of the Oil anointing on his head and Ossi Grace’s lyrics paint an inescapable toxic relationship between two lovers.
Twelve (12) songs in forty (40) minutes is all M.I Abaga needed to cement his imprint as The Guy. Listen!