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Big Jade - Pressure Music Album Reviews

Big Jade - Pressure Music Album Reviews
The Texas rapper’s second album shows a great talent struggling to find her place while focusing on what she does best: aggressive, take-no-prisoner bars.

Black women’s bodies have always been an easy target in mainstream hip-hop. Our physicality is continually used as a tool to extract pleasure or inflict pain, and it’s so ubiquitous that for a listener, the effect barely registers. The past few years, though, have signaled other (i.e., more feminist) possibilities. In the age of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s rise to superstardom—which is, of course, indebted to predecessors like Trina, Lil’ Kim, and Nicki Minaj—the sexual pleasure of women promoted by women is, almost unbelievably, commercially viable. At the same time, the commodification of rap music steered by women—in an environment still dominated by men—has made the lines between agency and objectification or sex positivity and sexual exploitation murky, to say the least.
Beaumont, Texas native Big Jade’s second album Pressure finds itself caught in the maelstrom of this identity crisis. Powerful men in the industry still openly ascribe to sexist norms, which complicates the strides made by women in recent years. Two months before the album dropped, Jade revealed in a radio interview that she refused to sign a deal with Migos rapper Offset (also Cardi B’s on-again, off-again partner) because of a stipulation to “get [her] body done.” Meanwhile, BeatKing, the first person to take a chance on Jade and the producer of seven out of 10 tracks on her album, specializes in club-ready, sex-charged bops that tell women exactly what to do with their bodies. In the music video for a collaboration with Ludacris released earlier this year, BeatKing plays a doctor administering butt injections.

So where does this leave Big Jade? It’s a question Pressure struggles to answer. Jade’s signature hard-hitting and crazy-fast raps, best showcased in her at-home freestyle videos, are abundant and flawlessly delivered on the project but often seem at odds with the Houston Club God’s languorous and predictable production. Even when she’s explicitly making pussy poppin’ rap, she sounds less than enthused. The result is an album that displays a great talent struggling to find her place.

This isn’t to say that she has to choose between being sexy or hard. That kind of binary thinking only reinforces stereotypes. Jade’s debut album Bsbbj (spearheaded by BeatKing) was full of raunchy tracks with fun and sexually fluid takes on pussy-rap (“I hate a bitch that’s fake gay/Bitch, this ain’t no playdate,” she spits on “Period Pooh”). Similarly, on Pressure, “Dem Girlz”—a rare instance in which an early-aughts flip (in this case, David Banner’s “Like a Pimp”) avoids coming off as lazy and uninspired—recalls the playfulness of Jade’s earlier project; it’s ready-made for warm weather debauchery. But the rest of the album indicates a desire to move away from twerk anthems. She can still tear the club up, but lyrically, she seems to be reaching more for a “Dreams and Nightmares” effect than a “Back That Azz Up” one.

The bulk of Pressure reflects what Jade does best: aggressive, take-no-prisoner bars that assert her ability to whoop your ass on the track and in person. Her breathless raps on “Jade Wins” and unhurried, almost casual threats on “Pressed” reveal her impressive range and vocal control over beats that play to her strengths. Elsewhere, bland production constricts Jade’s raps rather than propping them up. It’s too easy to tune out what she’s saying on “No Hook,” especially after the beat switches. “Up Now” is simply boring, and the slow trudge of “Respectfully” is uncomfortable and could’ve used an extra Jade verse instead of BeatKing’s standard strip club bars.

Big Jade may only be 5’2, but her freestyles have shown that she lives up to her chosen moniker. While Pressure doesn’t match the bar set by her one-offs, it affirms that she is bigger than formulaic club beats. That said, a real summer might finally be upon us, and I’ve never wanted more than to drunkenly throw it back. I’d happily do it to Big Jade, but I’d rather not just move to her music. I want to listen to her, and it’s clear she still has a lot to say.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Big Jade - Pressure Music Album Reviews Big Jade - Pressure Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, June 18, 2021 Rating: 5

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