Our song of the week!
Over a decade since he stepped onto the scene ー with multiple albums, mixtapes and EPs under his belt ーand hundreds of talented artists breaking through since the J-town rap legend gained mainstream popularity and barely anyone makes love songs as good as M.I Abaga to date. He’s mastered the art. From the sonorously rap-sung “Forever” from his debut Talk About It and the classic Waje-assisted “One Naira” from his opus MI 2: The Movie to the more recent “All My Life”, M.I approaches love songs with a profound assuredness and poignant tenderness.
On his latest release The Guy, his first album in about four years, he reminds everyone why he’s heralded as one of the best MCs to have picked up a mic on the continent. He firmly holds his own with two other rap legends on “Bigger”, he dissects abusive relationships and vicious interactions with Ossi Grace on “Crazy” and he brings Duncan Mighty out of hiding for a melodious affair on “The Front Door”. It’s however on “The Love Song” that the 40-year-old truly refreshes everyone’s memory; no one does love songs quite like M.I Abaga. Here, he has the venerable vocalist Wande Coal for company, both legends seamlessly dovetailing over Chopstix and Geek Beats’ peppy drums.
“Allow me to introduce you to the love of my life” M.I belts proudly before he proceeds to string together heart-rending, evocative lines. He says bye to his erstwhile relationships and exalts his new love interest in the same breath, reassuring her that what they’ve got going on “it’s for life”. On the hook, Mr Coal is characteristically doing a madness, expertly singing “Ahhh omo yen fe ma pami / Ahhh omo yen lo ma pami” (which roughly translates to “yeah, that girl wants to kill me, yeah, that girl will kill me) as he smartly encapsulates just how intense the feelings on this record are.
“The Love Song” is a soft and impassioned record, one that aptly reminds everyone that M.I is arguably the best at doing what he does while adding to his already impressive collection of songs that nicely summarizes the intense feeling of love. An ubiquitous feeling that many feel but might not be able to put into words quite like M.I does.