Birth name Jude Abaga
Also known as Mr Incredible
Born 4 October 1981
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, rapper, CEO of the Chocolate City
Years active 2004–present
Labels Chocolate City
Associated acts eLDee, Banky W., Waje, Wizkid, Ruggedman, 2face Idibia, Flavour N’abania, Brymo, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Lynxxx
Website Official website
Jude Abaga (born 4 October 1981) better known by stage name ‘M.I’ or ‘M.I Abaga’, is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist and the current CEO of the Chocolate City. He has won several awards including the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009. He 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. On 11 December 2008, M.I released his critically acclaimed debut album, Talk About It. The album was then followed by M.I 2 (2010) and later The Chairman (2014). Which were both released to wide and critical acclaim.
Jude was born in Jos, Plateau State. His parents, Pastor and Mrs Abaga from Takum, Taraba state, both of 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.
M.I was appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2012. M.I also supports the Jostified campaign.
M.I has achieved worldwide recognition as part of the vanguard of the “Afrobeats” wave.