The Mr. Incredible ‘M.I’ goes by the real name of Jude Abaga. He was born to, Pastor and Mrs Abaga from Takum, Taraba state, both of Nigerian descent in the city of Jos Plateau State. He attended Baptist High School, Jos where his mother purchased basic music notations and later, a 7-key mini piano which launched him into the music world. Jude has two brothers, Jesse Jagz who is also in the Nigerian and African music scene, and Jason Abaga.
During M.I’s adolescence, he would listen to tracks from Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Machlaclan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z and DMX. His venture in the hip hop world started with the sampling of musical works from DMX and Lauryn Hill as early as 1998. After his stint at Calvin College, Michigan, USA, he delved into poetry while pursuing a career in Business and Economics. There, he performed regularly at the school’s major hip hop shows and concerts. His impressive rap flows and attitude gained him a third place finish at the Calvin College show tagged ‘HipHopera’ in 2003, which was actually the only “hip hop show” that Calvin College ever had. M.I. also made some amateur attempts at comedy, but decided to stick to music because he was embarrassed when nobody laughed but him.
M.I began his music career when he returned to Nigeria in 2003. Finding his place in an industry dominated by the likes of Modenine, Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem, he quickly commenced the production of mixtapes with his friend Djinee. This led to the critically acclaimed single “Safe”, (a song which he parodied popular Nigerian songs in its lyrics) which has gathered 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, N.E.A amongst others.
The hype surrounding the release of Safe led to the critical acclaim given to his first studio album titled “Let’s Talk About It”. The album gathered awards such as Musician of the Year (Modemen Awards in 2008), Best Hip Hop Artist (City People Awards).. He later went on to bring out a sample mixtape, ILLEGAL MUSIC,in which he fully exploits his lyrical prowess.
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