Mr. Incredible, MI, has opened up on his scariest experience ever as a rapper. The Glo X Factor judge told Tony Ogaga Erhariefe that it was the day an eccentric female fan gave him a hot chase on the streets of Kano after he performed at a show!
“It was like a scene from Terminator 2. Remember where Mercury Man was chasing Sarah and John Connor on foot while they were fleeing for their lives in a car? The lady followed us to the car, almost got in before we zoomed off and chased my car for over 200 meters on foot before we could escape. At some point, I thought she was going to actually catch up with my car and grab me! Her speed was amazing! I was scared because I had never seen anything like that in my life.”
According to MI, trouble began as soon as he mounted the stage at the venue of the show in the ancient city. The rapper says as soon as he started performing, the lady started shouting his name excitedly.
“From the moment I started performing, she stood in front of me and was screaming, ‘MI, MI’. Throughout the entire show I kept telling her, ‘don’t worry I’m going to bring you on stage’.
“I finally brought her on stage and as soon as she did, she raised up her blouse like she was taking it off and the next thing I saw were her boobs! Immediately, the crowd and bodyguards pounced on her and kicked her off the stage but she was not discouraged.
“Till the very end of my performance she was there shouting ‘MI, MI’. As soon as I came off stage she came for me; men, she was a pretty girl. I managed to make it into my car before she could grab me and as I zoomed off the chase began. She chased me for over 200 metres; it was a nightmare!”
MI is aurguably the hottest rapper from Africa at least for now. From humble beginnings he has shared stages with some of the biggest names in hip hop including Rick Ross and has won several awards along the way including numerous endorsements.
Notorious B.I.G. once did a track entitled, The 10 Commandments of Crack. MI looks so polished and he’s been so successful as a rapper. Could he give us his 10 Commandments for success in hip hop considering his brilliant antecedents?
“Wow! I can give you five but let’s see how far I could go,” he says, gazing at me with that look of humility that has endeared him to many fans.
“Number one is respect,” he says with emphasis, “respect you have for the industry, respect for the legacy of Eedris Abdul Kareem, respect for Junior and Pretty of Monica Don Kill Me fame. Respect for Ruggedman, Eldee Da Don and Mode 9. Respect who they are and where they are coming from. Respect what they represent, learn about them, inform and equip yourself.
“When you do that you stand at a more informed point and you’re more equipped going forward and there’s nobody that has learnt more in this game than me. I even learn from rappers that are up and coming; I learn a lot from Ice Prince every day. It sharpens your mind.”
To MI, commandment number two is ‘confident humility’. Hear him: “In America, arrogant confidence is the key ingredient to success but in Nigeria, it’s humble confidence or what I would describe as confident humility. We’re such a respect driven culture and that’s in opposition to what obtains in America. In America, a young boy could tell his dad, ‘I don’t give a sh-t about you pops.’ In Nigeria, who are you to do that?
“Up till this day if my dad is talking to me I have to stop what I’m doing. I was talking to my dad like a month ago and I was scared! I had to listen attentively. So, there must be humility and respect. It’s not just about when you meet MI; it also applies to media people. You see somebody who’s been in the game for 15 years but he might not even own a car and so you think you’re something. But do you know what? This guy has seen so many stars come and go so if you want to be relevant, you need to give him his due.”
The musician states that his third commandment is having a strong appetite for hard work. “Number three is having a strong appetite for hard work. Ice Prince is so hard working; if you know of how hard this boy has worked over the last few years you’d be amazed! Olamide is another hardworking artiste. Since he dropped his first and second albums, he’s done so many collabos and played every show. There must be appetite for hardwork which will enable you get there. You have to be absolutely hard working.
“Number four is networking. You have to be able to network. When I was coming up in the game, I couldn’t reach the editors and the prime movers and shakers of the industry. But at the red carpet I was friendly with all the presenters and camera men and these guys became my friends and so they always put me in prime position and whenever they saw me they’d say, ‘MI, come and do interview’ and they’d give me a good interview and before you knew it the boss up there was liking me and saying ‘where is MI’s interview?’ You must know that the guy behind that camera today is going to be a boss tomorrow so start networking and grow together. If you stay in your house you wouldn’t get anywhere.”
So what is his fifth commandment? His response: “Five I guess is luck. Because after everything I have said, without the grace of God, it’s all a big zero. You need God.”
According to MI, other factors such as having a great team has also helped propel him to the top of the industry. A smile breaks his visage as he continues: “I’ve had a great team, great partnerships and great relationships with the media people. Yes, you have worked so hard and prayed to God but the truth is you really don’t know why you’re so successful; it’s just something that happens.”
“Although, you could point to some things but you really don’t know why. Why would someone pick you over another rapper?” he asked rhetorically, “the truth is that you can’t tell. You can put your best song and video out there but nobody might like it when it reaches the fans. So, who makes that happen? No one can say.”
Born in Taraba State, MI grew up in Jos. Did he ever believe he could be this big?
“I didn’t know for sure that I could have seen this happening back then. I never thought that we’d be doing collabos with Fresh Montana and Wale. And I don’t want to talk about other features in the pipeline. I did a show once with Rick Ross and we both flew on a private jet together. He performed before me and in a way he opened for me here in Abuja,” he says laughing softly.
MI disclosed that his greatest moment so far was the day he bought his first car ever, a Honda End of Discussion. “I was the king of the world because the feeling I got from that first car was the greatest feeling I have ever had! Now I’ve had Range Rover and people are saying MI has a Bentley. The new guys coming are going to own private jets but they probably won’t see that dream now. And that’s why I bring in the luck factor because no matter how solid my plan was which was basically to perform at Star Trek, win Hip Hop World Awards and whatever, but without that element of luck I wouldn’t be here today.
“Now awards happen and I don’t even know. Things happen and you are not bothered because you’re now at a different vantage point. And it’s only the journey that could take you there because if you were to write your dreams before you start the journey, your best dream would never be on that list realistically speaking.”
With all the success he has enjoyed these last couple of years, when is he going to get married?
“Right now the woman in my life is my mother and she’s already married,” the rapper replies laughing mischievously.