M.I. knows how to talk about it. The Nigerian rapper’s 2008 release of the same title (“Talk About It”) has already won 19 Awards, but his 2010 BET Awards nomination for Best International Act would add to that already long list of accomplishments. “This has been an amazing ride,” he says, before going on to talk about his BET nomination. “The BET Awards is an amazing experience. It’s also my first time in LA. I haven’t been to Hollywood yet, but to be here and be able to see how things are run, that has been the greatest experience,” he says.
Experience has played a role in M.I.’s music. The International rapper got his start in the business at an early age, after his mother taught him about music notations and gave him a 7-key mini piano. Since then, he’s followed his dream by turning his passion into a career. “I realized that I’ve been preparing for music my whole life and it’s been the greatest love of my life. I’m really blessed to be able to do what I love, to make a good living, to be able to travel, and I’m so grateful,” says M.I.
Though born and raised in Nigeria, M.I. spent time in the States when he attended college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This exposure to American hip-hop has helped influence M.I.’s sound which has not only achieved commercial success, but been held to a high critical standard. “We’ve learned from this culture, and it will be sad if we don’t build bridges and connect. That being said, when you do get to meet someone [from the States], they are pretty good people and the stories are very similar to ours,” he adds.
M.I. has been fortunate enough to work with a number of talented artists from the U.S. “We’ve done all the big shows in Africa, for Jay-Z, Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Rihanna, Usher. Wyclef is an artist who is in the forefront because he comes to Africa a lot,” says M.I.
For his first time at the BET Awards, M.I. is just happy to be a part of it. “I think it’s a big step for BET to include Africa in this year’s nominees.”