Never in the history of the Nigerian rap game have we seen a passionate and egoistic rapper dazzle in their craft like Jude Abaga, alias MI Abaga. The man has gone on to perform on world and African stages and ascended the ranks at foremost entertainment and record company, Chocolate City. He has even had the younger generation on his back in recent times, supporting rap and music creatives. His last body of work ‘Rendezvous’ had unknown features, mostly unestablished artists whose fame were mostly appreciated on SoundCloud. He followed his previous path on ‘A study on self worth’ by not recruiting the big boys and girls on his features. ’Yxng Dxnzl’ boasts of 10 songs with guest appearances from Tay Iwar, Niyola, Odunsi the engine, Cina soul, Patrickxxlee, Lady Donli, Lorine Chia, Caryn Solomon.
Here is a track by track thought on MI’s 8th project:
Do you know who you are? Take some time and meditate on you (featuring Tay Iwar)
This track opens with Tay Iwar’s wavy vocals. His vocals led up to MI’s rhyming and lyrical poetry. MI’s strength to calm the waters on low-tempo instrumentals was evident as the man switched to prayerful bars on his last verse.
Last night I had a dream about a hummingbird
The opening to a song preaching life lessons is probably the best we will hear on this project. The rich instrumental of synchs of drums and sticks has MI passing his message across to his attentive audience that may need it in a world of comparison and inferiority complex. This is one of the shortest rap songs ever made. Caryn Solomon’s voice on the interlude is everything and more.
You rappers should fix up your lives
MI Abaga will never stop giving you this song – he gave it to his fans and fellow rappers on ‘Rendezvous’. MI took bouts of backlash for this song. MI brags about his infinity and relevance to the rap scene and made controversial statements about South African rappers stealing the shine from Nigerian rappers.
Another thing! Do not be a groupie
The issue with loyalty in the music industry was called out here – backstabbers, discontentment. MI’s intelligence in using Chocolate City as a case study comes at a time when the scope of its artists and potency is being put into doubt. MI Abaga rapped about his family and reaffirmed his loyalty for them on the two-note production.
Stop never second guess yourself (featuring Cina soul)
A project isn’t always complete without the support of women and ladies. MI’s encouraging and self-appearance on this track was augmented by the descending vocals of Cina. Mr. Incredible also stan our Queens.
You are like melody, my heart skips a beat (featuring Lorine Chia)
I must admit, we didn’t need MI’s lovey-dovey lines here because Lorine’s vocal is the sweetest about this track.
+- (featuring Lady Donli and Odunsi the engine)
MI’s confessions are spread all over his lines. ‘Positive,negative’ is MI’s introduction to the two sides of existence. It’s difficult to skip this track as MI recruits two of the best vocalists in Odunsi, with Lady Donli topping the icing on the cake to create MI’s vulnerable material.
I believe in me, you should too, believe in you
MI Abaga brags about the best and dopest in his genre. MI even made references to the greatest in his genre. It feels to me like he is forcing the fact down the fans’ throats. I reckon this is too hard but yes, we love it. This track also shows he accepted the trap evolution in rap as noticed in his rhythm and flow.
The self evaluation of Yung Dxnzl (featuring Niyola)
This is one track I don’t reckon with – cockiness, lack of depth, the hook. I believe MI was not conversant with his lines. It could have come with a different hook, at least. Okay, I don’t like this. Niyola’s superwoman ability came late as MI had been drowned in his depressed flows.
Love never fails, but where there are prophecies love will cease to remain (featuring Tay Iwar and Patrickxxlee)
Tay Iwar’s ability on hooks and verses was exploited by MI again as the project rounded up. MI Abaga let the men have their fun as his own vocals laid siege at the bass line.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0/10
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace