Album Review: MI2 The Movie
Never in the history of naija rap has an album ever been as anticipated as MI’s sophomore album “MI2 The Movie”, MI’s ascendancy in the naija rap game is a relatively known one, from his critically acclaimed debut album “Talk about It” to his groundbreaking “Illegal Music” mixtape, Mi simply took the naija rap scene by storm and ever since he has not looked back.
MI 2: The Movie (also known as MI 2) is the second studio album by Nigerian rapper M.I Abaga. It was released on November 23, 2010, by Chocolate City.The album is the follow-up to his 2008 debut Talk About It. It features guest appearances from 2face Idibia, Bola Adebisi, Brymo, Flavour, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Julius Ceaser, Femi Odukoya, Loose Kaynon, Praiz, Ruby Gyang, Timaya and Waje. In MI 2: The Movie, M.I addresses a wide array of topics, such as corruption, poor education, the Niger Delta crisis, shooting, looting, and the sexual objectification of women.The album was ranked as the best Nigerian album of 2010 by music blog Jaguda.It won Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year at The Headies 2011.
The comical intro “prelude” fits perfectly to the movie theme as MI does his best impersonation of saving a damsel in distress, this is quickly followed by the Brymo assisted “Action Film”, where MI shows that he is still the same actor we all know and love with lines like “yo, back with my new flow/ for the club, for the streets, for the studios/in my new crib, new car, new clothes/same actor, different year, new boss”.
M.I switches up his lyrical flow and beats, by taking on Nigeria’s traditional genre of music called ‘high-life.’ This genre typically appeals to a more mature crowd but in recent times has produced hip-life music greats, like Nigeria’s J-Martins and Timaya, that appeal to both young and old. The track, Track 4 titled ‘Number One ft. Flavor’ shows hip-hop can blend seamlessly with high-life. The sound is beautiful M.I is clearly not leaving any fan behind: old, young, Nigerian or otherwise.
On ‘One Naira,’ despite Waje’s strong vocals as a feature on the track, there is no confusion on whose album it is. M.I gives a poetic type performance reminding us a big part of rap is poetry. The track is about relationships and loyalty. Loyalty “whether na one Naira, or 1 million. Baby you got me,” loosely translated to mean whether you are rich or poor (one dollar vs one million dollars), you got me.
The album takes on another path as 'Wild Wild West' portrays the ills and sudden unrest in Judo’s hometown Jos. 'Craze' also depicts the current deforming situation of the country, as M.I relates his disgust for corruption.
Nobody' featuring Tuface is a great collaboration and both artistes render superb performances on a subject that touches their personal lives.It focuses on the various types of 'beef' that accompany fame and fortune for those in the spotlight. M.I raps ''Ask Timaya, ask Wande/follow you bumper to bumper on Sunday/but do you yumu yumu on a Monday...if your fine boy too much they say you turn gay/if you make too much cash they say it's '19, or its drugs or it's fraud..."
“beef” works well as he addresses his beef with Iceberg Slim & Kelly Hansome with simple yet thought provoking lines like “See musicians tryna beef me for real son/maybe they doin it to promote their album/they know that using my name will help them sell some/so Iceberg it’s alright you are welcome/but I’m not in their league help me tell them/the super eagles don’t play against the falcons/see wor wor pikin dey form handsome/kelechukwu clap for yourself, well done”.
Generally, there are mixed feelings about this album while some fans tagged it as one of the greatest Nigerian Hiphop albums ever released, others felt it was too commercial for a critically acclaimed Rap Album. But one thing we can all agree on is that MI2 The Movie was a great Album.