Born Jude Abaga, award-winning hip hop act M.I hails from Nigeria to set the Big Brother Hotshots grand finale stage ablaze come Sunday night. Born Jude Abaga in Jos, Plateau State, he picked up the moniker M.I – Mr Incredible – back in the early days of his career when his was producing mixtapes and emerging from the underground scene of the Nigerian rap game.
Having worked as an MC in the Nigerian hip hop industry for more than a decade M.I is viewed as something of a heavyweight. He has moulded new artists like Wizkid, Vypa, Jesse Jagz, Ruby, Pype, Ice Prince and recently Brymo. He himself has docked an MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009 and was nominated in the Best International Act category at the BET Awards in 2010. M.I is no small deal.
Growing up, his mother bought him a seven-key mini piano which launched him into the world of music. He lists his musical influences as Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley and DMX as he started with the sampling of musical works from these musicians as early as 1998.
He describes his style of rap as “easy-going but packed full of punches”, which may also be reminiscent of old school hip hop back packers who raised their profile on the streets from rhyming in cyphers and rap battles.
M.I’s latest album, The Chairman, was released only weeks ago. It’s his third studio album and features collaborations with producers and guest artists such as 2face Idibia, Wizkid, Seyi, Olamide, Patoranking and more. We can’t wait to welcome the rapper, producer and MC extraordinaire on the Hotshots stage as we usher out a stellar season of action and entertainment this Sunday.