No doubt Jude Abaga aka M.I is an icon, his place amongst African hip-hop greats is secured, and to many, including yours truly; he is the greatest Nigerian rapper ever. Last year, he gave the music community major talking points with an appearance on the Loose Talk podcast, and the release of controversial single ‘You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives’ (YRSFUYL) which generated mixed reviews and a lot of replies from rappers; with perhaps the N6 reply touching a nerve.
Rendezvous is packed with 15 songs, containing previously released single, Your Father with Dice Ailes. One of the major things you notice on the project is the seamless transitions between songs. It shows innovative thinking from M.I and the production team he puts together for this project. Also, just like Illegal Music 2, he puts upcoming acts on. Rapper, Blaqbonez, who issued a response to YRSFUYL, is on Slow with Straffiti. Both rappers put in good verses but the song will strongly be remembered for M taking shots at popular Instagram personality, Hushpuppy. In his words, hush little puppy, you stole money!
On Sunrise, producer and artiste, Chillz creates a solemn mood which M.I follows suit, while Soup with South African rapper, Cassper Nyovest is a trap infused song that sees both rappers drop serious bars. Cassper’s addition is a welcomed one, as he delivers a worthy guest verse over an Higo produced beat. . Kososhi with Wande Coal is a short number that is arguably one of the brightest moment of the playlist, and to be honest with a running time of just 94 seconds, it’s difficult not to feel gulled by this record.
Charles Okpocha aka Amoshine ushers in M.I on On Code, which sees M.I in full braggadocio mood, and it features another SA hip-hop heavyweight, AKA. They both drop verses filled with a lot of tough talk and they shine on the record. Odunsi (The Engine) quickly comes through with youthful production and a good hook on Popping. One half of SDC, Ghost, also puts in a verse that’s a contender for the best guest verse on this project. On Lekki, Odunsi puts in even more impressive work with the delivery of his hook. It is one of the standout songs on the project and it’s sure to be a club banger for months to come, as it sees people’s favourites, Falz & Ajebutter also contributing verses. M.I is a hopeless romantic and it shows on closing track Sunrise which had a bit of the dancehall vibe with Trigga Madtonic delivering a major vibe.
Rendezvous isn’t without its flaws though, as Your Father may seem out of place, but its effect is infinitesimal as it does little in sabotaging the impressive work that the playlist is. After all is said and done, M.I will be remembered as a rapper who was keen on evolving. The short black boy is now a living legend who is not afraid to try new things, and for most part he strikes gold on this project.
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