Fix Up, Bro: My Open Letter To M.I. Abaga

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Jude,

How can Naeto C (who, by the way, isn’t half the lyricist you are) be eating into your ‘market share’ with his owambe rap?!

*long pause*

I know you’ve been busy over the past year and a half—cobbling your blog/website/webzine/thingy together, trying to sell croissants, mentoring wannabe superstars and being the poster boy for Eko O Ni Baaje on Google+. Yes, I know a body has to eat, but what about making good music—the very thing that made you relevant in the first place?

Listen, Chocolate City isn’t what it used to be: Brymo has gone rogue, Jesse Jagz has started a marijuana republic, Ice Prince is, well, still good ol’ uninspiring Ice Prince, and the recruits are learning the ropes. There are no longer any anthemic tracks from that band of rough-riding Jos exports the world used to rave about. The Choc Boys are no more, and your Loopy Music imprint is too inert to generate capable replacements (sorry, Loose Kaynon).

Is it necessary to remind you that 2012’s Illegal Music 2 was a shadow of the original? Or that on the last real single you released, you sounded more like an aspiring head motor park tout than the chairman you claimed to be? And while it’s a noble thing to do, recording musical tributes to people who died before their time isn’t exactly a viable plan to keep a rap career going.

On a Nigerian music scene where teamwork is fast becoming the norm, you haven’t been collaborating with anyone. Getting high and mighty aren’t you, short black boy? Meanwhile, micro-talented young goons are encroaching on your territory. And by merely occupying your space on the airwaves, these halfbreeds are spitting cannonball-sized insults at the lyrical edifice you built with their potty mouths. When was the last time you heard any of your songs on radio? Your building is crumbling slowly, man. Are you just going to seat your dimunitive self in your dimunitive chair until there’s nothing left to defend?

Don’t make your fans haemorrhage until they have no love left to bleed for you. It’s the start of a new, potentially great year. In 2014, anything less than an EP full of heart, confidence and audible effort will be unacceptable. Best get to it.

Later, bro.

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