Summer of ’17, Jude M.I Abaga (a veteran rapper and businessman, known for his decade long reign as one of Africa’s finest, and his CEO-ship at Chocolate City) started a whole new conversation, about how hip-hop was faring on Nigeria.
Honestly, that time, not great. All rappers were done switching up, the garbage on the streets was increasing, and “street dey yarn say rappers no dey blow again.” M I, as the Chairman, didn’t like that, so he got in the booth. Of course, we all know it was more of a way to revive his own career than it is to wake up rappers. But it actually worked!
Blaqbonez, a young rapper who has been grinding for years, joined in the conversation and dropped a ‘shady’ reply to M.I’s single. He blew up and now he’s part of M’s clan. He even got an album. That wasn’t just it, though. Guys also started rapping again returning home like the prodigal son.
Then Summer of ’18, M.I dropped his second album in eight months, A-Q and Loose Kaynon teamed up for a mixtape and Blaqbonez dropped his long-awaited studio album. They called it the LAMB project. The hype up worked and they were popping. With the success of the previous LAMB stuff they did another. This time, a Cypher. Then the diss started when M.I threw a shot at Hennessy. He only started it though, because in the months that followed, Blaq has single-handedly added more wood to the fire than any other person.
The biggest agigation came when he said he was the Best Rapper in Africa. Most underground rappers who think the black boy he’s just like them, didn’t take it as just another joke as they started going into the booth one one after the other, recording diss tracks for Blaq. Blaq’s “Best Rapper in Africa” single threw shots at Payper, Tentik and Holyfield.
Thereafter, they released the second Cypher, and this time M.I said most of the powerful words, saying that he made it safe for rappers in ’08 but they still hate him. Reminisce recorded “OGB4IG”, a reminder that’s he’s been doing this long before. But VEC? He’s always waited for a chance to tear M.I apart, so he did his own Cypher too, “The Purge” featuring Payper and Vader (who had words for Blaq and A-Q.)
BUT, in the past week, things have escalated as Vector dropped another diss track, “Tetracycling” aimed directly at M.I, who promised to reply. Then Davolee, who has also been disrespected by Blaqbonez went into the studio and did “Giveaway,” dissing not just Blaq but also M.I, Falz, Payper, A-Q, Vader, Loose Kaynon, Ladipoe, Dremo and Ycee. Tongues have been wagging ever since.
While the youngings are doing theirs, M.I has also done “The Viper”, a letter to Vector. Altogether, we’re talking about almost twenty tracks from angry rappers raining curses on each other. And there’s still more to come. Apparently, this is what it takes to keep hip-hop alive in Naija. May it never end!