The Live Report: A Symbolic Intervention by MI and AQ
By Emma Tallest
EA Adeboye and WF Kumuyi are two popular Pentecostal pastor in Nigeria, they represent the church when they speak, the congregation listen, their action and inaction are constantly under scrutiny.
MI and AQ are two important hip-hop heads in Nigeria, they have paid their due, there have been various interventions by both acts to keep the culture alive, about 11 months ago, they released an extended play titled The Live Report.
On this EP, both rappers represent one of this pastor, they are on a five days vigil to enlighten the fans on a myriad of topics, 5G imbroglio, corrupt leaders, their legacy, mental health, state of the nation, and so on.
The project which was seven minutes short of half an hour was symbolic in number of ways, it was the first time MI and AQ would be releasing a body of work, secondly, it a massive win for the hip hop community.
The tone of the conversation, the opener was a synopsis of the project, you get introduced to the two acts, their antecedent. Feeding on each other energy, they bragged, if you are not strong, you get shoved outside, this a conference for a great lyricist, AQ, and MI stand out. “I earn my spot, protect you nigha, I am Amotekun” (A paramilitary unit in Nigeria). Even with the accolade and 13 years of consistency, MI is still hungry for more laurel, before passing the baton to AQ, he saluted the legends, AQ continued from where he stopped.
The live report was a commentary about the then 5G controversy, while MI question the rationality of the controversy and urged the fans to find the truth, there was no gainsaying, MI has some doubt about religions and the country, AQ, on the other hand, stuck to some conspiracy theory on the covid. It was rife then, both the truth and the other side. Could Covid be a sign of end-time?
On the next track, “Jesus Said Use Your Head” what a title! it continues from where MI stopped on The Live Report. Both acts call to questions a lot of our religious doctrine. Don’t be surprised, these guys can school your favourite religious leaders. While MI is not cool with some of the religious practices, he is careful, to avoid career suicide. Sense. One thing you would observe about this track is the fact that the rappers are not preachy, the lines are very reflective, these are lines you ruminate on before you sleep.
A comedic skit preceded Clap for yourself. It was spot, with Big daddy jay on the hook, MI And AQ delivered the salvo on fake people, humorously telling them to clap for themselves.
Rappers are very careful of their legacy, they are hardly scared of death, they talk about it on their record. AQ reminisces, talking about how social media changed the setting. IG replacing hardcopy picture. Love me now, they both say, we don’t care about your RIP posts. MI sounds hurt on this record, for a rapper who has seen it all, he felt he is not respected enough. This is the only slow tempo song on this EP, the topic is somber, what do you expect.
On the last track, MI dispatch a letter to Vector while AQ brag talks about the state of the nation, the economic situation.
The Live Report would have had a more formidable impact with the right timing. The timing was wrong, it was released few weeks after AQ dropped God’s Engineering and MI’s Judah EP. MI Abaga mixed and mastered this project, you have to give it to the short black boy, he was super dope.