MI Abaga whose real names are Jude Abaga was born in Jos, Plateau State, on the 4th of October 1981 to Mr and Mrs Abaga. He hails from the Jukum descent of Takum, Taraba State, Nigeria. He has two younger siblings – Jesse Jagz, who is also a hot cake in the Nigerian music industry, and Jason Abaga. M.I speaks Hausa fluently because he was born and brought up in Jos.
Jude attended Baptist High School, Jos. While he was in Secondary School, his parents noticed his passion for music so, his mother bought him basic music notations to learn more about music. After a while, she also bought him a 7-key mini piano, which he used for personal training.
Growing up, he always listened to Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Maclachlan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z, DMX, and Fela Ransom Kuti. He also attended Calvin College, Michigan, USA, where he studied Engineering for only a year before he moved on to major in Business and Economics.
M.I delved into poetry at some point, and also did a bit of comedy, which didn’t work out well, so he decided to stick to music. While at Calvin College, he always performed at the school’s major hip hop shows and concerts. At one of the shows tagged – HipHopera, M.I performed and came 3rd position. He was at Calvin College from 1999 – 2003.
Mr Abaga started his music career in 2003, after his relocation to Nigeria. He started by producing mixtapes with his friend Djinee which led to the release of the hit single Safe. The song was widely recognized and played on African radio stations and music video stations like MTV Vibe.
M.I teamed up with his brother – Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Ruby, Threadstone, Lindsay, Moses – Elbulk, and E-kelly to form Loopy Music.
After a while, Chocolate City company – a renowned music label in Nigeria, signed M.I Abaga. On this account, he relocated to Abuja from Jos. Also, it was his contract with Chocolate City that launched him into a successful music career and roused up to become the Choc City CEO after the resignation of the Audu Maikori. Currently, M.I Abaga is a pro in his craft, to the extent that DIV described him as the future of African Hip Hop.
M.I Abaga is currently the CEO of Chocolate City. He is a Nigerian rapper, a proficient record producer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. Observers have likened M.I’s rap style to that of Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z. His company, Chocolate City, recently signed a jaw-dropping deal with Warner Music.
Album And EPs
– Talk About It – 2008
– MI 2: The Movie – 2010
– The Chairman – 2014
– Illegal Music 3 – 2016
– Rendezvouz – 2018
– A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl – 2018
– The Judah EP -2020
– The Live Report EP -2020
Awards And Nominations
– Musician of the Year at the Mode Men Awards – 2008
– Lyricist on the Roll at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2008
– Best Rap Single at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2008
– Next Rated at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2008
– Best Rap Album at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2009
– Lyricist on the Roll at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2009
– Hip Hop Revelation at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2009
– Video of The Year at the Nigerian Music Video Awards – 2009
– Musician of the Year at The Future Awards – 2009
– Best Rap Single at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2010
– Lyricist on the Roll at the Hip Hop World Awards – 2010
– Best International Act at the BET Awards – 2010
– Artiste of the Year at The Headies – 2011
– Artist of the Year at the Diaspora Professionals, Dubai – 2011
– Best Rap Single at The Headies – 2015
– The Chairman was nominated for the Album of the Year at The Headies – 2015 And the Best Performer at The Headies Award – 2018
– Best Rap Single at the Hip Hop World Awards
– Musician of the Year at the Mode Men Awards
– Best New Act at the MTV Africa Music Awards
– NMVA Award for the Best Use of Special Effects in a video
– Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video at the NMVA
– Musician of the Year at The Future Awards – 2010
– City People named him as the Musician of the Year – 2010
– Artist of the Year by the National Daily – 2010
– The Chairman was named as the Best Rap Album at The Headies – 2015, Best Rap Single at The Headies Award – 2018 and Lyricist on the Roll – The Headies Award – 2018