How to fall from grace: A 14 step guide according to the life and times of M.I Abaga

Gain unanticipated success doing the one thing everyone thought would never work

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At his arrival into the game, M.I kick-started a single idea rap music for a mass audience – a task many of the pre-existing voices of Nigerian hip-hop failed to achieve.

Become an authority in the game

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After the release of M.I’s Talk About It debut, he became the new master of all things rap,  revered in both versatility and skill

Get your brother signed to a label

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A Rocket flight to the top of the hierarchy didn’t mean M.I came into the game alone. He brought brother Jesse Jagz and close family friend Ice Prince along.

Watch his first album tank spectacularly while being critically acclaimed

Despite quickly rising to  a classic status amongst music heads, the success of Jesse Jagz’ Jargo debut was hampered by label politics and poor promotion. We’re not pointing fingers at M.I, but the devil is always in the details.

Dilute your sound

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Till date, no one has an adequate explanation for why M.I made his M.I2: The Movie album. Though by all means a commercial success, the album strayed very far from everything M.I had built with his debut album and Illegal Music mixtape as a battle rapper.

Release a ‘true’ hip-hop sound to please the critics

After M.I 2: The Movie got critically panned across all forms of media, M.I returned to the drawing table for an Illegal Music 2 mixtape to pacify true fans of hip-hop. Though widely accepted as a solid LP, a bulk of ILM2 relied on the creative strengths of over 20 artists featured on the project.

Revamp your whole stage image; leave the battle rapper behind, become the ‘Chairman’

M.I Abaga - Chairman

After the release of the second Illegal Music mixtape, M was looking onto other things. Out of his desperation for a new career direction came Chairman , a misinformed attempt to confer a self-serving virtuoso title on himself. Critics hated it and M.I cowered into silence for another year afterward.

Sign some eye candy

Victoria-Kimani

During M.I’s unofficial hiatus, Chocolate City signed Victoria Kimani as it’s the first lady. Till date, she has neither a major project under the label nor has she scored any major hits.

Sell out some more, this time, peddle your albums in the least imaginable place; banking halls

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Though it held some strong contenders, M.I’s Chairman album was mediocre for most of its parts. The rapper sunk even further into the jollof music waters and partnered with First Bank for a shabby promotional distribution.

Make a lot of money, but suffer a late quarter life crisis and gripe a lot about ‘authenticity’

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The FirstBank partnership paid off but though M.I smiled to the bank, the rapper was now facing an industry where his reverence was being compared to that of many talents he helped jump start. This is the point where our favourite short black boy, became bitter old M.I who couldn’t accept his waning relevance.

Join Social Media

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The lowest low for any artist is an attempt to remain relevant via social media instead of having an active career and M.I did just that by taking all his woes of due respect he was not being conferred to twitter.

Release one more ‘pure’ mixtape to soothe your ego, try to pass them off as a ‘master plan’

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Fans and critics alike were full of appreciation for M.I’s Illegal Music 3 mixtape, but the exhaustion of a rapper running out of ideas fast was becoming evident. But instead of going back to basics, again M.I passes the mixtape as the beginning of another one of many new phases to come in his career.

Reconcile with your brother, give him a dummy record label like a pacifier

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To justify Jesse Jagz return to Chocolate City, the rapper alongside an Ice Prince (who’d  announced on radio that his time with the label was over, a few days earlier) were both given dummy record labels, under the umbrella of an even bigger dummy record label doing a poor job of managing the talents it already has signed.

Sail gently into an irrelevant old age

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