Nigerian hip-hop icon and Chocolate City Music boss M.I Abaga who has just released his 15-track “Rendezvous” playlist to a wide acclaim made a stop at NET and had a chat with Vheektor Okpala.
Over the cause of the 40 mins chat, the rapper touched on everything from the creative process of his new project, his controversial “fix up your lives” single, the future of Nigerian music, Chocolate city, and his forthcoming Yung Denzl album.
On the Rendezvous Playlist
“It was a learning process for me”.
I was already done with my Yung Denzl album so I called in Tmx0 for the mixing so he came with his friends GMK and Odunsi. I had heard of Odunsi but never met him. So I played them eight songs from the album, and Odunsi said the album didn’t sound like the artwork I released for Yung Denzl.
“So I asked him; Do you know what we should do?”, Then he said we (Himself, Tmx0 and GMK) can figure it out.
Remember I had already announced an album release date for Yung Denzl and the fans were waiting for it but I said okay. That night he sent me a song “popping”, just the beat and the chorus and when I heard I was like okay these guys are serious. So we rented two side by side apartments in Lekki, like six rooms in each and we had like at most eight producers working at the time. At the end of the day, two projects came out; number one Rendezvous and Yung Denzl.
On Fix Up Your Lives
It’s like making a simple statement to talk about a complex situation. “Rappers are singing now, is not the end of the statement. Just to get popular – means I was speaking of rappers who simply jump on trends”.
If you listen to Eldee, it sounds like Eldee, listen to Naeto, it sounds like Naeto, Olamide and Phyno as well. You don’t have to go too far to know it’s an Olamide record, they have created their unique style. But in the past five years, a majority of the sound of music all sounds like some other person. The question is; who is going to be the next person to add to this growing catalogue of Nigerian hip-hop.
On Supposed Beef with N6
Everybody that responded to me from rappers fix up your lives I didn’t care about. But then, I think N6 addressed Koker, Loose, Dice and a few people that had nothing to do with the issue and I thought that especially from some that I would consider a colleague in the rap game, that was disappointing.
On Ice Prince and His Career
This is an artiste that has always been unafraid of doing what people weren’t doing and there’s not a human being on earth that can try new things and be perfect at all of them. “When Ice Prince recorded Oleku, I told him I didn’t think this was the song he should put out. And I was wrong”.
Imagine someone that everyone told you that you were wrong, but you were right because you took a risk?. He’s not going to stop even if people say he’s failing.
On the Gap Between “Musicians and Journalists”
Your opinions don’t matter all the time and I think that if every journalist put their opinion aside and simply curate the stories, we will not have this disconnect.
On Forthcoming Yung Denzl Album
I don’t want to give out too much information, but it’s completely different from Rendezvous.
Watch full interview below: