After leaving the “major” game for so long, veteran J town emcee, MI Abaga, stormed back with a new outrageously long-titled single called “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life”. There is a singularity blunder in “Life”.
Notwithstanding, this is already a…well, I’ll save the “classic” label for years to come. But, this is a song that’ll be revered and referenced for a long time as far as the culture is concerned.
Sadly for the lack of better words, the chairman thinks or thought, that the first two buttons to click to restart his career should be some sort of threat, to the Nigerian hip hop community.
“I should be close to retirement / Couple more years be retiring…”
When I first heard the song, I stopped to think about what will happen when MI Abaga is gone for a while. Will he go unnoticed like Modo, or remain a museum element in Nigerian hip hop?
I was quite sure he won’t go broke, he’s now a business man. But, will the impact he has today, that is almost fading, kuku die completely? Then, I came back to life.
MI Abaga might not have said “I’ve retired” or “I’m retiring on so and so date”. But from all he’s been up to for a couple of years now, he’s obviously retired from hip hop. No wonder, hip hop in Nigeria is
“It cannot get any worse” a friend of mine, who’s also a dedicated follower of hip hop had said about the issue when I raised it. There’s really nothing to think about then?
Now, those two lines are something. And, we can talk about it forever. They actually sounded like they came from a frustrated MI Abaga, who not only feels like he’s a done all he can, but also that he can’t make any more impact on the culture.That should be a dirge, right? At least, a fan would think that way.
“but, none of you rapper is inspiring…”
None? Did he say “none”?. As a matter of fact, he was right. He himself doesn’t pass that requirement, even though he wrote the said constitution. At least, not anymore.
“Who gonna face the environment?…”
Wizkid and Davido, sir. That’s the answer, since our best rappers are now singers. And of course, we don’t deserve WizKid anymore since he’s now international. Isn’t it, sir?
Wait a minute, suspend that
Seriously, I just wish M.I knew he’s tired and retired already, no pun intended. However, the good news is that nobody fired him. He just resigned. Now, you can “switch up the siren!!!”
A little moment, and check this out;
“…Yah getting killed by the south / I guess I’m in this shit, for
I’m still the one that you look to / You need me to figure shit
To be honest, when I heard “killed by the south” I didn’t get it. I thought he was shading the West (coughs Olamide) and East (sneezes Phyno) for South (Yung6ix). He always called 6ix the King Of The South.
Until it got to the “SA rappers out here killing y’all” part . He’s not wrong. But these are stuffs majority don’t want to hear or read. The truth is bitter. There was no way I was going to reply MI Abaga without letting people know I’m better than Nasty C and AKA. And even Casper Nyovest. Wetin
And by doing so, M.I limited the scope of the song and the impact to just Nigeria. It could had major impact on world hip hop culture as a whole. This was a song that could have made any top 10 list of rap culture songs alongside Nas’ “hip hop is dead”. But it ended up being an “SA vs Naija conversation started by M.I; who took sides with SA.” This is what the average hip hop head thinks and it’s heartbreaking.
Mind you, no one really needs M.I to figure sh*t out (that’s if they ever have to figure it out?)” That was the first thing I wrote down, when I wanted to review this song.
I also find it funny, that he thinks he’s here for life, and he actually started with “I should be close to retirement…” Anyway, I guess he guessed. Maybe his hunch was wrong?
The Verse 2
At the 00:58 mark of the song, I noticed he was actually on a trap beat. The lyrics carried me away, from the start. Much of this is a challenge to the rappers he was actually referring to.
“None of you rappers is real enough / Once you blow up now you’re
switching up / That’s why these fans are not feeling yo…”
While most of the allegations are true, there is no iota of truth in that third line. I’m charging “Mr Fix Up Your Life” for perjury.
I don’t stand with M.I on this point. You say? You mean? I didn’t get that? The fans are feeling the shit man. You mean they didn’t feel Shakiti Bobo by Olamide? Juice by Ycee? Fada Fada by Phyno?. Even “Chache” by Ola Dips was felt more than his “Yahoo Boi” despite having the same theme.
Then, the first display of braggadocio came at about 01:07 mark of the song;
“When I was out here performing, I held the country down…”
For the first time, he accepted that he’s no longer here. His heydays are gone and he is well aware of that. The only issue I find here is that the rappers we think he’s pointing accusing fingers at also
held the cities down. Some even longer than he did. Some still hold the city down, whether it’s with the street hop, Fuji pop vocals or the igbotic vibes laced on.
“I don’t see nobody dope…”
Sorry to say, but he must be blind. Binoculars can’t help either. I wish he could see people greater than he his. Nobody’s serious about taking his place? That’s because there’s a place that pays better. It’s now all about the paper. Why did he leave his place before?
Nevertheless, it is a case of big hommie dropping a message for us rappers saying “Wake up, wake up, and fix up your life!”
Verse 3, MI Abaga was very confident
By now, the frustration and pain in his voice was gone. And he was spitting bars like Kendrick Lamar. Or like Machiavelli, o gbona feli feli. The braggadocio was pumped and on fullest display. He said everything from still being the one 10 years later on to his flows being too cold (which rapper says that about himself anyway?).
He resumed with “All I created is vanishing…”. Refer to my earlier submission that the song itself is a mourning song.
“Omor, let’s bring a mechanic in / Maybe you rappers can rap again…”
Seriously, M.I hasn’t lost his flow. That flow we heard on “Safe” is still here, and if you want some more the verse 3 of “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life” is your go to place.
But, when the self-acclaimed Naija’s rap messiah, said;
“Anytime, I think I’m done, they like go again / And, so I do it, make dough…”
I wonder if he meant that. So if they don’t tell him to go again, he won’t go again abi? Hence, he won’t make the dough again? Then, he won’t pay his bills again? Well.
“But all of you n^ggas are broke again”
Too much of “again” will bore us like chisel, again and again. And then the last part is self explanatory.
“I’m doing this for the culture / You need somebody to coach you
Y’all need the truth… Clark Kent, Clark Kent, we need superman / So, I had to get in the booth… This is your General calling to check with the Troops…”
A Retired General, he meant to say. Don’t think twice, this is the best hip hop song from Nigeria in 2017.
About the author
Tylz Ceazar Yo is a young rap artiste and an outspoken music industry commentator. He writes in a very controversial manner and is known to “never let the sleeping dogs lie”. In October 2017, he was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead.