Hate him or love him, you can’t deny the fact that M.I Abaga is still the best thing to ever happen to Nigerian hip hop. Over a decade in the game and the short black boy is still at the top of his game.
Music has evolved over the years and hip hop music especially has undergone a series of significant changes from the gangster hip hop era to the emotionally sensitive Drake era & now we are presently in what I’ll like to call the trap era with the leaders of this new school being the likes of Future, Migos & Drake.
All these new trends/cultural shifts have become difficult for some artists to keep up with. Only few rappers like Jay Z, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole & Kanye West have been able to adapt with the times without making it look obvious.
Jay Z’s “Tom Ford” song showed Hov rapping on a trap beat and if anything,it showed that Jay Z understood that he had to move with the sound of the time. On Rendezvous, not only does M.I do this; he proves that hip hop can still be widely accepted in Nigeria like afro-pop and afrobeats songs.
Last year when M.I dropped his YRSFUYL song, Naija rappers turned against him by claiming that Nigerians were not interested in hip hop anymore.
The critical acclaim that has been showered upon Rendezvous since its release proves them wrong.
The combination of a veteran hip hop honcho like M.I and new school artists of different genres such as Falz, Straffitti, Joules da Kid, Dice Ailes, Ckay BlaqBones, Terry Apala, Odunsi, Nonso Amadi, Chillz, Moelogo, Tomi Thomas, Santi, Ajebutter 22, Trigga Madtonic & U. aX make for a pleasant listening experience.
Like eating jollof rice (a dish as old as time) while drinking a new & exciting alcoholic drink, M.I blends well with the new school cats to deliver great songs such as Jiggy, Playlist, Lekki, Popping, Wats D level & Slow.
But it’s not just the new school acts who impress on Rendezvous, M.I teamed up with seasoned acts such as South African rappers AKA and Cassper Nyovest to deliver fiery bars on songs like “Soup” and “On Code”. Other notable music veterans on Rendezvous were Wande Coal who delivered a fantastic performance on “Kososhi”, Ghost of the Show Dem Camp duo whose verse on “ Popping” was an absolute and loveable madness and the appearance of Yung L on “The Crew”.
M.I has mastered the art of remaining relevant in a fast changing industry and uses Rendezvous to prove that Nigerians will listen to hip hop, if packaged correctly and delivered well.
Words By: Excel Joab