With “Yung DenzL” MI breaks open the box of his troubling emotions inviting interactions to soul study, and mental uplift.
ALBUM: Yung DenzL
Guests: Tay Iwar, Odunsi the Engine, Cina Soul, Patricxxlee, Lady Donli, Niyola, Lorine Chia, Caryn Solomon
Producers: Tay Iwar, Major Banz, TMXO, DOZ, Chillz, GMK, Ptrickxxlee, MI Abaga
Record Label: Chocolate City
A sneak peek to the end of Yung DenzL with the track Love Never Fails But There Are Prophecies Love will Cease To Remain featuring Tay Iwar and Patrickxxlee, MI Abaga is heard conversing to himself, then he strikes the chord with the line－ this is not music, but emotions, indicating the very essence of the creation and direction which the album Yung Denzl upholds. This is more of the depth of an expressive emotions, than just a piece of lyrics, intermingled with instruments to creates a ‘HipHop’ record.
Picture this; there was a man who had demons all over him. Demons of emotions, depression, esteem, worth, self-evaluation, love, etc.
He was in his own World. He was cold, he needed vibrations to his soul, he had tasted success; he knew how it feels to be up, he knew how it also feels to be down to the vault his success has created below his progression. His battles were almost all-consuming, every time he looked in the mirror, he saw the many faces of demon’s,－a paranoia, he himself could not wrestle alone. Every quiet moments he had were marred with his own mutterings; a meditative journey circled with questions, that had no answers.
He needed to heal, he needed to be back on his feet’s, he needed to chase his demon’s away. So he began the process by calling in a therapist, a floor for interactions, to solve the matrix he was deep in, and just as he wanted it so bad, with the requisites he had put in place, a parlance to his healing process emerged.
This is what MI Abaga new album Yung DenzL, his 8th studio record, unveils with; a study to self worth.
Let’s take a look at how he got healed from his many troubles;
The first question he needs an answer to is in track-1; Do You Know who you are? Take some time and meditate on you ft Tay Iwar. The song is introduced by a dark therapeutic intro capturing a lonely atmosphere with many chiruppy puzzling voices whistling, and MI asking provocative questions like; Do you know who you are, Do you Know Your Worth?
With a forward by Tay Iwar’s pulverized vocals, suggesting self reflections and contemplations of identity, building a preview for MI Abaga to rap through with answers to how racism, black identity, Psychological freedom, conditions from super structures, and other factors weighing wars with the growth of Africanism, can be address and curbed, rounded with the suggestions from a female therapist, as MI opens a conversation with her about one of his demons which is; hate.
The conversation continues in track-2 which is Last Night I Had A Dream About A Hummingbird. Here; a suggestive male voice comes up with what could be summed as an advisory and affirmative assertions, arriving at a position of self-believe, not living a life of prove to anything or anyone.
This serves as a guide to a very simple poetic rhymes by MI, splitting between a paused drum kicks and snare, with fluted keys from the Plano, humming at the background, seeing the Jos raised rapper proverbially reaching out to himself of how he should go ahead and explore all his potentials in coordinates to reach any given bearing and height of whatsoever he wants to achieve in life.
However, the female therapist continues with her advice. This time she explains who a hero is, the height of it, when to hold on to its peak position, and when, and how to step down with shoulder’s high as a hero.
Next on the line of questioning is the spin of this project－You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives. This remains the only single led out of the frame of this record. It was created for Nigerian rappers to revive their continuous skipping away from, and the lackluster attitude shown towards rap to singing music to keep relevance.
As made for, it worked the required magic. A lot of rap conversations ensued as replies spilled through the Nigerian Social Media sphere, an interests parties in response to MI’s call to rap music rebirth.
Some people called out at MI’s hypocrisy of asking rappers to rap, and questioning his contributions to the growth of ‘HipHop’ in the country.
To respond to his called out, MI created a project called LAMB with albums like ‘Crown’, a collaborative body of work from AQ and Loose Kenyon, Yung DenzL, his own effort, and Bad Boy Blaq from Blaq Bonez, to contend the criticism he attracted with the fix up single.
Away from the Spin of Yung Denzl, comes the next query.
Not really a query, but again, an address to Nigerian music artistes, at track-4 titled; Another Thing; Do Not Be A Groupie.
This song emphasizes the concised manner of arrangement of this album. Coming from a called out of rappers to fix up, interchanged with how to really fix up without being a groupie.
MI on the first verse, tries to catch the attention of everyone with the catchy punchline; For N*ggas to get ahead, they giving cunninglingus, money makes this N*ggas to do some funny things, ironically stating the groupie mentality of the Nigerian music industry, where artistes are not versatile with their ideas, but resumes and jump on every opening where a single working formula is an opportunity for all artistes to wank and feast on to be relevant.
He would not just stop at Nigerian artistes, he went on to call for the head of Nigerian Politician as he wades on with; why I’m I expecting more, when half of APC were PDP before, a mirror to the Nigerian political sphere, where weak, and corrupt politicians with mild principles switch alliance from the losing to the ruling party, just to be on the safe side with no aim of bringing meaningful dividend’s to Nigerians.
At verse two, he continues to address artistes, both the upcoming, and the established ones.
Calling for patience that success was imminent, but mostly, a professional price needs to be paid for it. On the flip, he went braggadocio on all his achievements, and that of his imprint Chocolate City, listing it from 2008, to the recent.
In between the verses, the female therapist kept giving bleeding leads, making assertions against being a groupie, and doing well enough to stand out from the crowd.
Then a self assessing worthy song is birthed at Stop! Never Second Guess Yourself, Ft Cina Soul.
Much of MI Abaga’s effort here is to help an assumed female, rendering on her words of affirmatives, confidence and self evaluation, reminding her of how endowed, and beautiful she is. On the other hand, Cina, holds down her vocal dexterity with a part in the song that seems she is just confident to express her vocal foray with it. Then the voice of the therapist is back, with her unending discussions of self heal from hurt, cheat, and abandonment.
With Lorine Chia at track-6, a magical emotional communicative song is created. Both artistes are in sync of what they aim to do with the song which is named; You Like Melody, My Heart Skips A Beat.
The song + – (positive Negative) ft Odunsi and Lady Donli, is all about vibes. But the required one amongst the energy is the positive one, the good vibes, the positive vibes.
MI is seen as the maestro with the rap, Odunsi is the Whiz Kid with his splendid verse, Lady Donli is a virtuoso with her space for singing. Everyone of them gave an unfathomed accounts of their collaborative efforts on the song.
One thing notable here is; Odunsi’s returned on this album as an aspect of one good round deserves another, when his effort in the album- Rendezvous, released by MI on the 9th of Feb, 2018, was well received, with tracks like Popping and Lekki.
The therapist returns once again, with the most striking part of the conversation, where MI talks about the down moment of his career, how people would talk him down of how good he was in the past, and she advises him against the backdrop of the tear down to rise activities of his own protege’s, asking him not to take it personal when he is being criticized but be prepared against their breakdown activities.
I Believe In You, You Should Too, Believe In You, is another part on this project where MI goes braggadocio again, he brags about his longevity in the industry and his achievements in a span of 10-years and running. The song has semblance to Last Night I Had A Dream About A Hummingbird because of its duration of being very short.
Then the congruous collaboration with ‘House Music’ power house singer Niyola is next. But, before their mark is made in the slow jam record, MI’s mom is recorded calling Jude to check up on him, and his brother, offering advice for focus.
The song gives off MI’s voice beyond being Mr Incredible, who as a rapper has been amazing, had a successful career, achieve success in many phases, and the other part of him which is Jude Abaga, who is human, full of weakness and emotions, sometimes facing failures, and depression looking for an opportunity to express his weakness by talking to someone, or through smoking or f*cking, and chilling.
Niyola blesses the song with her enigmatic voice, matching it with that of MI, very close to a duet, to put the missing tile in the teaser for the song which carries more of MI’s persona, shared to the public to experience who a Mr Incredible is, and what a Jude Abaga stands for simultaneously.
At Love Never Fails, MI takes the back seat, while Tay Iwar and PatrickxxLee takes the lead as they both figuratively sing about a lady who has been in a confuse state of life seeking solace, but also wants to take her life so she can have peace, but her mom helps her to be more confused by taking her to places that could not offer what she needs which is pure love. The message that comes with it is totally sublimed, and it takes resonance to bring deciphering, as the song is beyond music but an expressions of emotions with filled with dilemma.
The Yung DenzL album is totally personal to MI. He only gave his fan base an opportunity to gaze into it. He shares two characters of his persona of both Jude Abaga, beyond Mr Incredible.
In between the message, we can find MI to uphold his box of emotions, made up of his personal demon’s, as he breaks it open for everyone to see.
As he does, he becomes naked. No longer the superhuman Mr Incredible, his medals of many awarded plaques has been stripped, his tail is between his two legs, He is not the renowned achieving rapper, he is not a celebrity, he is not the former Chairman of Chocolate City,－the best Record Label in Africa, as ascribed by MI, he is not the artistes that has gotten good solid 8－studio albums. No, he is not any of the above, he is ordinary. A person, who is suffering from many problems, who needs help. Real help.
And the way to go get it is through, questions, Soul study, self evaluation, Mental cleansing, rebirth, confidence, believe, worth, love, recognition to past achievements (Braggadocio), and an entropy of interaction from anyone, everyone who can listen to and relate with what MI has successfully achieved with this album.
With the above, MI has achieved; A Study To Self Worth with Yung DenzL, a match to all the moments he hyped and bragged about the album.
Listen to Yung DenzL through this link “Yung DenzL”
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