M.I. (Jude Abaga),better known by his stage name M.I Abaga, is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist, Singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and CEO of the 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.
Jude was born in Jos, Plateau State to Pastor and Mrs Abaga from Takum, , both of Jukun-Nigerian descent. A product of Calvin College, Michigan, US, he delved into poetry while pursuing a career in Business and Economics.
Jude began his music career when he returned to Nigeria in 2003. He’s won awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People, N.E.A among others. He has also received international recognition in South Africa from the popular Channel O music Award, MTVbase Awards and also the American BET Awards. M.I has been described by DIV as the future of African hip-hop. He has produced and featured on the works of artists like, Don Jazzy, Kel, Djinee, Shifi (Styl Plus), Jesse Jags, Ice Prince, and Wizkid etc. He also runs a production company, Rytchus Era Productions with his brother Jesse Abaga (Jesse Jagz). In 2013 he was appointed by Nigerian telecommunication company Glo Mobile as a brand ambassador
M.I’s role in the music industry cannot be overstated. He has been responsible for bringing out many upcoming artistes such as Wizkid, Jesse Jagz, Pype, Tone Ice Prince, Brymo etc.
He was listed as the most talented rapper in Nigeria by online music site Notjustok.com.
M.I was appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2012. He has also achieved worldwide recognition as part of the vanguard of the “Afrobeats” wave.