MobbDeen: Rochelle Jordan’s “Pressure” — The Best R&B Debut of the Year

Mobb Deen told you not to go to the Cheesecake Factory and let them girls order cappuccinos and Pumpkin Oreo cheesecake. I ain’t gonna lie; I only downloaded this shit because I’m really...
By    August 24, 2012

Mobb Deen told you not to go to the Cheesecake Factory and let them girls order cappuccinos and Pumpkin Oreo cheesecake.

I ain’t gonna lie; I only downloaded this shit because I’m really digging shorty’s pose on the cover.  Sex sells and I’m buying. That cover definitely worked on this consumer and that’s no mean feat given that I tend to avoid any non-mainstream R&B these days. That’s not to say that the less popular shit sucks. It’s more a reflection of my continuous tendency towards listening to exclusively gully shit. In other words, niggas and bitches can’t really sing about shooting muthafuckas and I only listen to the mainstream shit because I can’t really avoid it, given my shitty life choices and all (I’m sure I’ll bitch about that at some point).


Back to Ms. Jordan. I don’t think I’m being unfair by jumping straight into the Aaliyah comparisons. When you break it down to the very basics, i.e., the music (fuck the imagery and forgotten pedophilia), Rochelle Jordan has quite a bit in common with Aaliyah. From the ethereal vocal tones and faint melisma on display to the raw subject matter and fairly unique (for each artist’s era) production.

Speaking of production, Rochelle’s beats aren’t quite as inventive as Timbaland and Missy’s soundscapes, but again, they’re fairly unique for an R&B album in 2012. Her Bandcamp page attributes the entire project to one producer – KLSH – and you can tell. It’s a really cohesive sounding piece of work and there’s some good chemistry on display. KLSH manages to hit something approximating the sweet-spot between old (read – good) Timbaland, minimalist Neptunes, 40 and just a splash of Lex Luger (or old Three 6 Mafia – depending on how much white hair you have).

Here’s hoping he (or she?) doesn’t go the Paul Poli way and disappear altogether. Poli was largely responsible for Teedra Moses’ Complex Simplicity – low key the best R&B album of the 2000s that no one heard – and I haven’t heard shit from him since. Teedra is a bit more visible, but I’m worried for her on MMG.

Jordan’s “Visions” is a standout – and not just because of the Stevie Wonder sample – but Pressure is pretty solid as a whole. Oh and ignore the final track/interlude – you’ll understand why when you hear it – if you choose to listen to. I understand why you’d be mildly skeptical. I downloaded this for the cover, then I listened to it because I was bored during a layover at an airport. Then while I was writing this I realized that I was writing about what I consider to be the best R&B project of 2012 (despite the easily detectable influences.)

Forget your Frank Oceans, Trey Songz and BJ the Chicago Kids – this album is shitting on all of them. It’s a free project, but it makes one wonder why this woman is still making independent music. My guess is that she can’t dance or some stupid shit like that. Or maybe she isn’t sleeping around enough. I don’t know what it takes for R&B folks to get signed in 2012. I’m assuming it involves giving orifices away for free. That would explain why Trey Songz is about to release his 5th album. I’m cynical that way. For fuck’s sake, she’d fit right into today’s climate and while she’s “unique,” she’s not so different that a label wouldn’t be able to market her. Plus I’m certain her pedicurist doesn’t have to work as hard as Keri Hilson’s. These things matter.

The most important question it raises is what’s the deal with these Toronto folk and Aaliyah? Why won’t they just let that woman stay dead? First it was Drake with his creepy everything (I don’t have the time or energy to recount all that shit here) with Aaliyah and now we have this facsimile of Aaliyah. Someone with more time and nothing to do should go do some research on this shit up North. Canada is beginning to violate a bit too much of late. Their female soccer team was trippin’ during the Olympics, Bieber made a dope album (yes, fight me), Steve Nash joined the Lakers (fuckboi) and Drake still exists. If we find out that Drake’s Aaliyah resurrection project is basically this girl doing a really convincing impression, there’ll be hell to pay.

But yeah, go get this. It’s great. And it’s free. If there’s any justice on this planet, the next time you hear her shit and try to download it, there’ll be a bar code attached to that bitch and you’ll feel a small tinge of guilt. This girl good. Or are instincts are. Either way, fuck with it…


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