Fans of the rapper have had to wait for a couple of years for the album, which was again pushed back this year prior to its release. A source from his record label Chocolate City said the last change in release date was due to delays in clearing a sample. The stylised full title of the album is A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl.
In the time since he first mentioned the project online, MI has executively produced a clutch of albums, released the controversial single, ‘You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life’ and announced a hip-hop festival.
He also found time to release Rendezvous, a project he called a playlist and featured MI alongside an artist or more on each track. Even as it appeared first, “Rendezvous is basically leftovers from the Yung Denzel project,” MI said in an interview with Music In Africa.
The title of the new album, he said, came from a badly received joke he made about looking like the American actor Denzel Washington. “So it is sort of like a satire on this almost foolhardy confidence in yourself that one must have to succeed at anything. I am a guy in Jos but I want to be the biggest rapper in Africa. Or I’m a guy from Bariga and I want to perform one day with Wale. It is almost insane. So that’s like me saying I remind myself of young Denzel and people say, ‘Are you crazy’”.
Featuring vaguely motivational long titles like ‘Do you know who you are? Take some time and meditate on You’ and ‘Love never fails, but where there are prophecies love will cease to Remain’, the album, said MI, is introspective. Following its release, he took to Twitter. “Sigh,” he tweeted. “This album is career suicide. Hopefully y’all are still with me.”
The statement was proven unfounded hours later when he posted a graphic showing Yung Denzelat number 1 on the Twitter trending chart hours later. “Wow guys!!!! I don’t deserve you guys,” he wrote. A later post showed that the new album also sits at the number one spot on iTunes, over such albums as American rappers J.Cole’s and Nicki Minaj’s 2014 Forest Hill Drive and Queen as well as over Wizkid’s Ayo and Bob Marley’s Legend (Remastered). “Guys we did it! Thank you, thank you,” MI tweeted.
A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl by MI Abaga is available on iTunes