Jude Abaga popularly known by his stage name as M.I Abaga is a famous Nigerian hip hop rapper, singer, songwriter, recording artist, stage performer, record producer and a model. He has been the chief executive officer (CEO) of Chocolate City record labels since June 2015 till date. He is very handsome, gifted, skillful, creative and talented. He has been described as the greatest rapper in Africa by several media organizations and popularly known as Mr. Incredible.
He was born on 4th October 1981 in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. He is currently 36 years old. M.I Abaga was born in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. His parent, Pastor and Mrs. Abaga is from Takum, a small village in Taraba State in the northern part of Nigeria.
M.I Abaga completed his primary school education in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. After completing his primary school education, M.I Abaga proceeded to Baptist High School in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria and obtained his West African Senior School Certificate. While still in secondary school, M.I Abaga started rapping and freestyling. During that time, his mother purchased some music equipment and a 7-key mini piano which launched him into the music world.
M.I Abaga has two younger brothers namely Jesse Jagz who is also a famous Nigerian reggae/hip hop rapper and Jason Abaga. During his teenager, he loves listening to musics from Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Maclachlan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z, Tupac and DMX.
M.I Abaga ventured into the hip hop music world in 1998. After completing his secondary school education in Nigeria in 1998, M.I Abaga proceeded to Calvin College in Michigan in the United States of America to pursue a course in Business and Economics. While in the United States of America, he was influenced and inspired by DMX and Lauryn to pursue a career in music.
While in Calvin College in Michigan in the United States of America, M.I Abaga delved into poetry while pursuing a career in Business and Economics. While in campus, he performed regularly at the school’s major hip hop shows and concerts.
His impressive and magnificent rap flows gained him a third-place finish at the Calvin College show tagged “Hip-Hop-era” in 2003, which was actually the only “hip hop show” that Calvin College ever had. M.I Abaga also made some amateur attempts at comedy, but decided to stick to music because he was embarrassed when nobody laughed to him during his performance as a standup comedian.
M.I Abaga began his music career professional when he returned to Nigeria in 2003 from the United States of America after completing his studies at Calvin College in Michigan in the United States. When he returned to Nigeria in early 2003, the Nigerian music scene was dominated by hip hop rap legends like Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem.
He quickly commenced the production of his mixtape with his friend Djinee. This mixtape led to the production his self acclaimed hit single “Safe”. The song became very popular and garnered impressive airplay by African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. The track also earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People Entertainment Awards and Nigeria Entertainment Awards, amongst others.
In 2009, M.I Abaga won the award for Best Hip Hop Rap and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards. In 2010, he was nominated for Best International Act category at the BET Awards in the United States of America.
In 2006, M.I Abaga rose to prominence when his song “Crowd Mentality” became very popular in his hometown of Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. On 11th December 2008, M.I Abaga released his critically self acclaimed debut studio album “Talk About It”. The album received global acceptance and commercial success, selling million copies worldwide. In 2010, M.I Abaga released his second studio album “MI2” which also received global acceptance and commercial success. In 2014, M.I Abaga released his third studio album “The Chairman” which also received global acceptance and commercial success. In 2018, M.I Abaga released his fourth studio album “Rendezvous: The Playlist” which received global acceptance and was also a commercial success.
Immediately M.I Abaga returned to Nigeria from the United States of America, he went to Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria and teamed up with his younger brother Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Ruby, Threadstone, Lindsay, Moses and E Kelly to form Loopy Music Group. He later established a music label called Chocolate City and signed in Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz and Brymo into the record label.
M.I Abaga has also received international recognition in South Africa from the popular Channel O Music Video Award, MTV base Music Video Awards and also the American BET Awards. Apart from being a rap legend, M.I Abaga is also a proficient music producer, lyricist, songwriter and an instrumentalist. He has been described by DIV as the future of African hip-hop.
M.I Abaga has produced and featured on the works of artists like Don Jazzy, Threadstone, Kel, Djinee, Style Plus, Jesse Jags, Ice Prince, Brymo, Flavour, Ruby, Lindsey, Leony, Wizkid, Davido, amongst others. He also runs a production company known as Rytchus Era Productions with his younger brother Jesse Abaga, who is popularly known as Jesse Jagz.
In 2013, M.I Abaga was appointed by the Nigerian multinational telecommunication company GLO as a brand ambassador of the company alongside with other top Nigerian celebrities like Omawunmi, Burna Boy, Flavour, Ice Prince, Naeto C, amongst others. He was also a judge in Glo X-Factor, which is a famous Nigerian version of the reality singing competition show in 2013.
In 2012, M.I Abaga was appointed as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. He has also achieved worldwide recognition as part of the vanguard of the “Afrobeats” waves.
M.I Abaga in the cause of his music career has received several awards and honors. In 2018, he won the Best Rap Single of the Year and Lyricist on the Roll at The Headies Award for his greatest rap single “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives”.
In 2015, he won the Best Rap Album of the Year at the Headies Awards for his album “The Chairman”. In 2009, he won the Best Rap Album of the Year and Hip Hop Revelation of the Year at the Hip Hop World Awards. In 2009, he also won the Best New Act of the Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
In 2008, he won the Best Rap Single at the Hip Hop World Awards. In 2008, he also won the Musician of the Year at the Modemen Awards. In 2009, he won the Best New Act at the MTV Africa Music Awards. In 2009, he also won the Best Use of Special Effects in a video and Best Mainstream Hip Hop Video at the Nigeria Music Video Awards.
In 2010, he won the Musician of the Year at the Future Awards. In 2010, he also won the Musician of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards. In 2010, he also won the Musician of the Year at the Malaysian African Entertainments Awards. In 2018, he won the Best Rap Single of the Year at The Headies Awards. He is currently the king of rappers in Nigeria
M.I Abaga is currently one of the richest and most influential artist and hip hop rapper in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $3.7 million.