M.I Abaga’s fourth studio album ‘Yung Denzl’ finally arrives after 365 days of repeated broken promises that forced one to raise questions about the rappers integrity. The 10-track album that clocks nearly 40 minutes is aptly subtitled ‘A Study Of Self Worth’ as it is an introspective audiobook that finds Abaga at the peak of his vulnerability. With vocal contributions from the most prominent of Nigeria’s new school wave; Odunsi, Tay Iwar, and Lady Donli, Yung Denzl stands boldly as the rappers most personal album. It is a private affair that welcomes the participation of the public.
To get you caught up on the album, let’s dive into the fundamentals.
According to M.I Abaga, Yung Denzl was first recorded fairly long ago but it was remade and completed in 2017. By the revelations of Abaga, a few associates whom he cited to include rising music heavyweight Odunsi had suggested that the first version wasn’t good enough, so he decided to remake the project, thereby altering the direction and overall sonic of the album.
Was this responsible for the delay?
The reason why his heavily criticized 3rd studio album ‘Chairman’ and ‘Yung Denzl’ are 4 years apart is relatively because the album was re-engineered. If the first version wasn’t revamped, Yung Denzl would probably have arrived a year earlier.
The album according to M.I was, however, ready in 2017. The repeated delay is believed to have been a result of personal or managerial hiccups – production had no hand in it.
The release of the album started on a blustery note with his intense interview on popular Nigerian podcast, Loose Talk which led to a fierce exchange between the hosts of the show and M.I Abaga.
Although aware that the interview may become intense, Abaga alluded to showing up regardless, partly as a strategy to “accelerate the process” of the album.
Weeks after, M.I released his most controversial single yet, ‘Fix Up Your Lives’ – a track that challenged the state of Nigerian hip-hop and checked emcees for taking the singing route. The infamous record caused a stir and triggered various meaningful debates amongst rappers and followers of the hip-hop religion. The rapper soon turned off the torch of chaos with his 2018 playlist, ‘Rendezvous’ and has gone on to engage with fans through Chocolate City supported hip-hop activations and a local hip-hop tour, all ahead of the eagerly-awaited Yung Denzl album.
M.I Abaga – He is the visionary of the Yung Denzl album and also credited as the executive producer.
Tay Iwar – The Nigerian music genius, audio engineer and record producer had his footprints throughout the album as he produced, made vocal contributions and played a huge role in the re-engineering process of Yung Denzl. The albums opening track ‘Do You Know Who You Are?” enjoyed the production prowess of Tay.
Odunsi The Engine – Another M.I Abaga project, another Odunsi credit. The wonder kid is also a core of the Yung Denzl album as he was heavily involved in M.I’s decision to revamp the album and his contribution to it’s fruition covers production and vocal contribution.
Patrickxxlee – The artiste and producer who handled the production of the most famous record on the album (yet), ‘Fix Up Your Lives’ also contributed to Yung Denzl as a vocalist.
Yung Denzl in a nutshell
The album sees M.I at his barest as a number of tracks found him reevaluating, and reaching for a higher realm of self-love with an understanding that perfection is a journey and not a destination. A journey that begins with love for one’s self.
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