Nostalgia is a powerful tool! This is why songs that remind of good events, experiences, or people from our past often hold more sway with us than those that don’t. It is why a lot of older music fans look down on contemporary music, belittling it for not living up to the ‘good ol’ days’, and why the industry is constantly flooded with repurposed versions/interpolations of songs from yesteryear. The power of nostalgia is so strong that while our many memories (even the best ones) are prone to fading or adulteration, their emotional afterglow linked to the music that was played during that time, often lingers, sticking with us for a lifetime.
The reaction to M.I. Abaga’s much-discussed performance during the finale of Big Brother Naija is a testament to the potency of nostalgia. And for many, watching the legendary artist deliver older hits like “Anoti” and “Undisputed” with fresh enthusiasm and gusto, evoked emotions that were hard to contain. This was largely because the performance reminded of the previous ubiquity of the music from the man dubbed, “African Rapper Number One”; the many car trips which were soundtracked by hard-hitting hip-hop records like “Safe” and “Crowd Mentality”; the weddings during which “Action FIlm” created congestion on the dance-floor; as well as former loves who till today hear “One Naira”, and think, “That was our song!”
All 5 of MI’s projects charting anew on the Apple Music Top 100 prove that there’s no point fighting nostalgia. While what is, may not be so great, and what is to come, is largely uncertain, we’ll always remember how we felt hearing the intro: “They call, they call, they call, they call me M.I.” And sometimes, that’s enough!
Stream the collection here: https://music.chocolatecitymusic.com/MIAbaga