13 Feb M.I ABAGA – RENDEZVOUS REVIEW
At this point in his career M.I Abaga has nothing left to prove to anybody, his discography largely speaks for itself, yet due to the criticism of his last album, recent controversy with his release of You Rappers Should Fix Up Lives, his comments on the Nigerian rap scene and the delay on the project, there was great interest in this project. With his 7th project, M.I reaffirms his immense talent and legacy, producing a project that easily stakes claim to be one of his best and one of the best to come out of Nigeria in some time.
The opening song, Sunset, sets the mood, as Chillz relaxed voice draws the listener in feeling secure that we are in for a good time. Playlist and Jungle are the perfect pre-drink songs which consolidate further the position of Nonso Amadi, Tomi Thomas and Santi as one of the most talented young artist emerging out of Nigeria. Hip-Hop lovers are in for a treat with Wats D Level, Soup, On Code and Popping, where M.I recruits young artists CKay, JoulesDaKid, and Odunsi the Engine as well as fellow rap heavyweights Cassper Nyovest, AKA and Ghost (SDC). Jiggy is a potential club banger, the mixture of M.I bars and Terry Apala’s raw voice produces a song that gets your heart racing. Lekki is the song that will most likely dominate radio waves and clubs, the mixture of Odunsi, Falz the Bahd Guy and Ajebutter22 is perfect, giving us a song that will have listeners moving their body from beginning to end.
The production on the album is perhaps its greatest strength, each song is different from the next, allowing M.I to showcase his versatility and incorporate a diverse range of artists. The transitions are seamless and wonderfully executed. The transition between One Way and On Code, in particular, is brilliant, Charles Okocha’s words mixed with the brilliance of G Plus and GMK carries the perfect punch leading perfectly into On Code.
On Rendezvous, M.I exudes the hunger of a young artist looking to prove himself whilst at the same time the calm of an old head guiding the young ones to wonderful effect. He allows the young artists the space to shine, and in some cases – Jungle where the beat is perfectly suited to Tomi Thomas and Santi – the space to outshine him. In this respect, Rendezvous bears shades of Talk About It, where put on young Wizkid and Illegal Music 2 where he accommodates an array of young artists. It is a shame then that it lacks the female presence on IM2. Given the wide array of talented young female artists, the lack of any on the project is the biggest blot on it.
Rendezvous is a project which highlights the beauty of collaboration, from the featured musicians, to the producers, the sound engineers, the voice actors and graphic designers everyone brings their A game to the table, giving us a well- rounded project, which has perfect synergy.
With Rendezvous M.I Abaga takes us on the perfect night out, and gives us a project that we will be listening to for many nights to come, eagerly awaiting the release of his next project.