mocha: anyway, you can catch me any day.
MOCHA was a rapper signed to Missy Elliott's Goldmind Inc. record label.
She first appeared in 1998 on the remix to "Hit Em Wit Da Hee", in which Timbaland sampled Bjork before I was sensible enough to listen to her. The first time I really noticed her to the point of being like, "Damn, who is that chick?", was on Nicole Wray's 1998 single "Make It Hot". After that, I coincidentally* kept running into her verses on CDs I purchased-- Timbaland's "What Cha Know About This" off Tim's Bio, Gina Thompson's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" off the soundtrack of the same name, Destiny's Child's "Stimulate Me" off the LIFE soundtrack, DJ Clue's "I Like Control" off The Professional, and Sporty Thievz's "Even Cheaper" off the single for their their TLC-response "No Pigeons". I owned most of her discography without even trying.** I didn't know anything about her solo album until my 8th-grade-girlfriend mentioned that she had a song featured on a Hot 97 mixtape. I was like, "Yo! You got to burn that shit for me!" She never did. Remember when we used to burn CDs to share music regularly? I do. And it makes me feel old. I'm totally not old enough to feel old.
In any case, I came across the song my 8th-grade-girlfriend once mentioned several months ago. In fact, I came across a few more songs that were recorded for her album Bella Mafia***. I was super excited.
While these came from an era when Timbaland's production was a bit more fun, they're surprisingly mediocre. "Runnin Shit" has a corny cartoon-esque beat that Mocha totally pulls off with her attitude, but it is accompanied by an incredibly lame chorus by Timbaland. There's something wrong with "Talkin Crazy" that I can't quite put my finger on. I think the beat may be a bit too powerful for Mocha's delivery. "Mardi Gras" sounds like a second-rate version of Eve's first single "What Yall Want".
After all those years of anticipation, I was kind of disappointed. At least this provides a bit of closure about why her album was never released. Since her rap career has dwindled, Mocha has had two books published. Her first novel Cash Money includes the following description-- Tanita and Freeda, best friends caught up in a game of men and fast money, struggle with a decision that could end their friendship and possibly even their lives. I totally want to read it.
dl: MOCHA f/ TIMBALAND - Runnin Shit (YSI)
dl: MOCHA f/ MISSY ELLIOTT - Mardi Gras (YSI)
dl: MOCHA - Talkin Crazy (YSI)
(late 90s, early 00s hip-hop)
- wik it -
* I say "coincidentally" because it was all entirely coincidence. While I totally liked Mocha (a lot), I never made any effort to buy albums she was on.
** I actually remember consistently holding Nicole Wray's CD in a Sam Goody and second-guessing whether I should buy it. I bought Total's 1998 album for my other 8th-grade-girlfriend and almost kept it for myself. These two purchases would put me four songs away from having all 11 songs of Mocha's pre-solo material. I don't know why I felt the need to put this information on the internet.
*** Yes. This was the title of a Lil Kim album two years later.