According to Nigerian Sounds, "Aboki" means friend in Hausa; the song celebrates some of the most successful people hailing from Northern Nigeria. Commenting on the single, Ice Prince said: "I’m absolutely excited about my new project; I feel it shows my fans a different side to me. My whole approach to the music, the delivery, my thought process is different from how it was last year."
The music video for "Aboki" was released onto YouTube on October 1, 2012, at a total length of 3 minutes and 42 seconds. It was directed by Phil Lee in Los Angeles. The music video has eclipsed the 900,000 views mark on YouTube.
During the video shoot, Ice Prince was interviewed by one of his associates. Prior to releasing the music video, he uploaded a 'behind the scenes' video of the interview onto YouTube. In the video, Ice Prince talked about the meaning of Aboki and the overall message of his music.
"Aboki" was nominated for "Most Gifted African West Video" and "Most Gifted Video of the Year" at the 10th Annual Channel O Music Video Awards, which took place at the Walter Sisulu Square, in Kliptown, Soweto, on November 30, 2013. Moreover, the music video was nominated for "Best African Act Video" at the 5th edition of the 4Syte TV Music Video Awards, held at the Accra International Conference Centre on November 16, 2013.
Ice Prince performed the song at the 2012 edition of the Koko Concert, and at Big Brother Africa's "The Chase" finale on August 25, 2013. The Chocolate City rapper performed the song at the 2013 Star Trek concert in Nigeria. Ice Prince said: "I’m really happy to be part of Star Music Trek 2013, can’t wait to connect with my fans all over the country and make beautiful music", in appreciation for being part of the event. Moreover, he performed the song during his North American tour and visit to Zambia on Easter Weekend in 2013.
On January 25, 2013, Ice Prince and Chocolate City released the alternative version of "Aboki", featuring Sarkodie, Mercy Johnson, Wizkid, M.I, and Khuli Chana. The song was originally intended to be included on Ice Prince's second studio album Fire of Zamani (2013), but was ultimately removed from the final track-listing due to reasons that haven't been made public.
During an interview with Toolz on NdaniTv's "The Juice", Ice Prince described the song as the "biggest African collision ever". When asked about his decision to feature Mercy Johnson, he said:
When Sarkodie sent me the verse, he had a line that said 'Mercy Johnson, will you be my Wifey?' He wanted me to say 'Oh no Charly, she's married' and then he says 'okay, I see' and then continues his rap. For me to do it wouldn't have made sense, you know what I mean. I hit up Mercy Johnson and said 'Babe, How far now?' This is what's up. She was in the states at that time and she came through. She sent me a voice note and I put it there. I put her name on it.
Upon releasing the song, Chocolate City released a statement saying,
While the original Aboki celebrated some of the most successful individuals who hail from the Northern part of Nigeria, on this remix, Ice features some of his Aboki’s [Sarkodie (Ghana), Wizkid (Nigeria), Mercy Johnson (Nigeria), M.I (Nigeria) and Khuli Chana (South Africa)], to celebrate a medley of great talent from all parts of Africa. This song is guaranteed to get you on your feet!
Ice Prince took to twitter to announced that he would be featuring Mercy Johnson along with the aforementioned recording artists. Charles Mgbolu of Vanguard said that "Fans were anxious to listen to this remix not because of any doubt in the talent of Ice Prince to put together a solid collaboration; rather expectations peaked because Mercy Johnson was in the picture."
Upon its release, the song was met with mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Super Q of 36onobs said: "Ice Prince comes alive with the power house remix to the northern flavoured song – Aboki he released last year. He brings together Sarkodie, Mercy Johnson, Wizkid, MI & Khuli Chana to spice the already hawt song up!" Charles Mgbolu of Vanguard also said: "No doubt, many have hailed this song; calling it a powerful collaboration of the masters of minds. Wizkid, Sakodie, MI, Khuli Chana and of course Ice Prince spat fast paced words that would leave anyone trying to catch up mentally dizzy. It’s a hot baked collaboration that further deepened Aboki‘s intensity and overall quality."
On the contrary, those who opposed the song felt that Mercy Johnson's involvement in the song was unnecessary; they also thought that she was being used as a mere stunt to add publicity to the song.