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AKA Has Always Respected Nigeria – MI Abaga

Days back, as the Xenophobia attacks on Nigerians and other African nations was happening in South Africa, popular Nigerian rapper, M.I Abaga was blasted on social media after he defended South African rapper, AKA wrote on Twitter that Nigerians should remain in their country during the Xenophobic heat.

However, in a recent interview with Saturday Beats, MI Abaga has said that his comments did not mean he was supporting xenophobia.

He added that he was not standing against Nigeria.

His words, “If you search on Google, you’ll see that over the years, AKA has shown Nigeria love and respect. I felt that dragging his name into something as dangerous as xenophobia was wrong.

“I simply said what I knew about him not being a xenophobe and being one who loves Nigeria. I thought my tweet was tasteful and as a person of integrity, I had to speak out honestly in defence of his character because I don’t think any other Nigerian spoke on his behalf. In retrospect, the timing probably wasn’t particularly right. I wasn’t standing with him against Nigeria.”

Do you agree with him?

Jude Abaga (born 4 October 1981), better known as M.I Abaga, is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist and record producer. He has been the CEO of Chocolate City since June 2015. He won Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards, and was nominated in the Best International Act category at the BET Awards 2010. He rose to prominence in 2006 when his song “Crowd Mentality” became popular in his hometown of Jos. His critically acclaimed debut studio album Talk About It was released on 11 December 2008. The LP was succeeded by MI 2: The Movie (2010). Four years after that, he released The Chairman as his third studio album. M.I Abaga released the playlist Rendezvous in February 2018. In August of the same year, he released his fourth studio album A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl.

Jude was born in Jos, Plateau State. His parents, Pastor and Mrs Abaga are from Takum, Taraba state, both of Jukun-Nigerian descent. 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 Jude’s adolescence, he would listen to tracks from Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Maclachlan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z and DMX. Jude’s 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, US, 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.

Jude 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 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 among others.

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