Following his recent Best Rap Album win at the Headies award ceremony, Nigerian rapper MI will be releasing his third mixtape. The expected title, Illegal Music III, follows the tradition of his earlier ‘unofficial albums’, 2009’s Illegal Music I and the follow-up three years later, Illegal Music II.
“IM3 [Illegal Music 3] The Finale will definitely drop February,” the rapper tweeted. Later he posted a short video where he is seen listening to 'Soke' a song by Burna Boy, which features as bonus track on the latter's 2015 album On A Spaceship.
On Instagram months ago, MI waxed lyrical, writing, “I have seen the best turn to weed and lose direction/ Smoke or perspiration that's the f***ing intersection/ What you let inspire you will ask for your protection/Your Highness are you low enough to one day face rejection?
"I have seen pretenders too numerous to mention/ Stand upon falsehood hence are fake by extension/ Man must pay to gravity the price for his accession/ If you think I'm talking to you this an intervention'. "Illegal Music 3" "everything.." Coming soon.”
The tag ‘illegal music’ used repeatedly by the rapper refers to his use of unauthorised samples for each instalment. “It’s free. Don’t sell it,” he said as he introduced the first Illegal Music over a sample of Dorothy Moore’s 'Misty Blue'. “If you sell it, I get into trouble.”
Since then the rapper has used samples of American rappers Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. Other artists sampled include Coldplay, Nina Simone and Simon Webb. The sole contemporary Nigerian sample has been ‘Gbono Feli Feli’ from D’Banj’s 2008 album The Entertainer.
MI became the CEO of the record label Chocolate City in 2015, a move that had fans contemplating if the move would take him out of recording. His reign as CEO has met with mixed reactions from industry watchers. But with the new mixtape, attention is sure to return to the rapper’s music.