FULL NAME: Jude Abaga
STAGE NAME: M.I or MI
DATE OF BIRTH: Born 4 October 1981 [ currently 36 years old]
OCCUPATION: Nigerian Singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, CEO of the Chocolate City
MARITAL STATUS: Not Married
NET WORTH: M.I Abaga’s Net Worth is ($3.9million)
STATE OF ORIGIN: Jos, Plateau State
STUDIO ALBUMS: Talk About It (2008), M.I 2 (2010) and The Chairman (2014)
MIXTAPES: Illegal Music (2009), Illegal Music 2 (2012) and Illegal Music 3: The Finale (2016)
ASSOCIATED ACTS: eLDee, Banky W., Waje, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince
RECORD LABEL: Chocolate City Records
Jude Abaga who goes by the stage name of M.I or M.I Abaga [where M.I stands for Mr Incredible], is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist and record producer. He was born on October 4, 1981 in Jos, Plateau State Nigeria. M.I Abaga is the CEO of Chocolate City since June 2015 and he is one of the most sought-after Nigerian rapper in the country today .
M.I or M.I Abaga as he is widely called is one of the top Nigerian hip hop recording artist who has contributed greatly to the Nigerian Music Industry before he went missing from duty. He has been honored with several wards and nominations more than any other Nigerian rapper that you can think off . He paved way for other top Nigerian rappers who are currently making waves today, talking about rappers like “Olamide Baddo”, “Reminisce Alaga”, “Phyno Phino” , “Falz” and what have you. Some of his notable awards include winning Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards, and also earned a nomination in the Best International Act category at the BET Awards 2010 and lots of them which i will be listing out at the wrapping up stage.
M.I Abaga music career gained massive appeal in 2006 when his song “Crowd Mentality” became popular in his hometown of Jos. He also went to release his critically acclaimed debut studio album, “Talk About It” on 11 December 2008. He subsequently released another album titled by “M.I 2” in 2010. After working on singles for some time, he finally released his third studio album titled “The Chairman”.
Early Life, Background And Education
M.I Abaga was born in Jos, Plateau State. His parents, Pastor and Mrs Abaga from Takum, Taraba state, both of Jukun-Nigerian descent. He had his first taste of education at Baptist High School, situated in Jos. While he was in school, his caring mother bought for him basic music notations and later, a 7-key mini piano which launched him into the music world. Young M.I has two brothers , Jesse Jagz who is also a well recognized rapper in the whole of Africa and Jason Abaga who is yet to have a celebrity profile. “According to the rapper, he grew up listening to tracks from Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Maclachlan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z and DMX”. M.I. later traveled to the United States, and schooled in Calvin College, Michigan where he pursued a career in Business Administration and Economics.
He launched into hip hop world with the sampling of musical works from DMX and Lauryn Hill as early as 1998. While he was in school, he participated regularly at the school’s major hip hop shows and concerts and gradually become known around the school. He partook in a rap show tagged ‘HipHopera’ in 2003, his rap flair and bold rapping attitude earned him third-place finish at the Calvin College. At some point, he tried his luck at comedy, but later found out he wasn’t made for that and decided to stick to music in other to save himself the embarrassment of getting booed off the stage.
M.I Abaga was residing in United State for a long time but finally returned to Nigeria in 2003 to enter into the music industry properly. Getting to Nigeria, he met the likes of Modenine, Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem who were making waves and enjoying their career best moments , he calculated the competition and resorting to production of mix-tapes with his friend Djinee for a start. He went on to release his critically acclaimed single “Safe”, where he combined several Nigerian song in its lyrics. The song enjoyed impressive airplay by African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. The single “Safe” later earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People, N.E.A among others.
The massive hype he got from the single “Safe” gave his first studio album titled “Let’s Talk About It” much attention. He was able to win some awards with this album including Musician of the Year (Modemen Awards in 2008), Best Hip Hop Artist (City People Awards). After successfully releasing some mixtape like PYERIBOY, he brought out the sample mixtape titled: ILLEGAL MUSIC in 2009, where he fully manifested his rapping prowess.
He later teamed up with his ,Jesse Jagz, IcePrince, Ruby, Threadstone, Lindsay, Moses (Elbulk),E kelly to form LOOPY MUSIC. Thereafter, he got signed to the Chocolate City company, which is regarded as one of the biggest record label in Nigeria till date. M.I has also received international recognition in South Africa from the popular Channel O music Award, MTVbase Awards and also the American BET Awards. He has also worked with some prominent names in the music world the likes of Leony, Wizkid ,Kel, Djinee, Shifi (Styl Plus), Jesse Jags, Ice Prince, Ruby, Lindsey, Don Jazzy, Threadstone and many others.
His latest work is “Illegal Music 3” – The Finale, which was completed and released on February 29, 2016. Illegal Music 3 is a 14-tracks album which was intentionally made available online for interested people to download and enjoy. The album recorded over 400,000 downloads in just three days.
M.I Abaga has contributed greatly to the success of several Nigerian musicians including Brymo, Ice Prince, Ruby, Jesse Jagz, Pype, Vypa, Wizkid even Kelly Handsome because he playfully gave him free promotion during the cause of their beef.
In 2013 he was appointed by Nigerian telecommunication giant GLOBACOM as a brand ambassador
He was also a judge in Glo X-Factor, the Nigerian version of the reality singing show in 2013.
- Best Rap Album (The Chairman)- The Headies 2015
- Best Rap Album 2009 –Hip Hop world Awards
- Musician of the Year– Modemen Awards 2008
- Best New Act- MTV Africa Music Awards 2009
- Best Use of Special Effects in a video-NMVA 2009
- Hip Hop Revelation 2009 – Hip Hop World Awards
- Best New Act of the Year 2009 – Nigerian Entertainment Awards
- Best Rap Single 2008 – Hip Hop World Awards
- Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video-NMVA 2009
- Musician of the Year – Malaysian African Entertainments Awards 2010
- Most Amiable Brand – Orange Wall of Fame 2010
- Musician of the Year-The Future Awards 2010
- Musician of the Year – City People 2010
- Artist of the Year – National Daily 2010
- Lyricist on the Roll-Hip Hop World Awards 2009
- HipHop Revelation-Hip Hop World Awards 2009
- Best Rap Single – The Headies 2015
- Musician of the Year-Modemen Awards 2008
- Lyricist on the Roll-Hip Hop World Awards 2008
- Album Of The Year (The Chairman) – The Headies 2015
- Best Rap Album-Hip Hop World Awards 2009
- Best Rap Single-Hip Hop World Awards 2008
- Next Rated- Hip Hop World Awards 2008
- Artiste of the Year – The Headies 2011
- Album of the Year (Mi2) – The Headies 2011
- Artist of the Year- Diaspora Professionals, Dubai 2011
- Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video- Nigerian Music Video Awards 2009
- Best Director(Mex)- Nigerian Music Video Awards 2009
- Video of The Year-Nigerian Music Video Awards 2009
- Best Rap Single-Hip Hop World Awards 2010
- Lyricist on the Roll-Hip Hop World Awards 2010
- Best International Act- BET Awards 2010
- Best Use of Special Effects in a video-Nigerian Music Video Awards 2009
- Musician of the Year-The Future Awards 2009
- Face of Hope Ambassador- Face of Hope Nigeria Project
There you have it, the full biography and net worth of M.I Abaga.