Big Freedia is one of the first bounce artists to attempt to break into mainstream music as a bounce artist. In the past, many bounce artists steered away from bounce and took a more traditional hip-hop approach to appeal to mainstream audiences. Sometimes the beats would survive the crossover, but the lyrical structure would evolve. One of the most recent examples being Lil Wayne.
Big Freedia specifically is part of a sub-genre of bounce known as "Sissy Bounce" because the performers are openly gay. Known as the Queen Diva, Freedia has been performing primarily in New Orleans for over 14 years. This year the reality show Big Freedia: Queen Of Bounce debuted on Fuse documenting the business as well as family aspects of trying to bring bounce to a larger audience.
I was first exposed to bounce music several years ago when my brother moved to New Orleans. He told me that the kids in his music classes were really into it. Then I stumbled across the Gypsyphonic Disko series of hip-hop, bounce, Yiddish inspired music mashups put together by Ben Ellman, the producer for Galactic and member of the Klezmer All-Stars. The Gypsyphonic mixes are free to download so you should check them out.
The show at the Riot Room last night was quite literally insane. Flanked by five dancers and a DJ, Big Freedia put on a 50-minute set featuring several of his most popular songs including: "Duffy", "Azz Everywhere", "Gin In My System", "Excuse", "Na Who Mad". Filled with nonstop dancing and ass shaking, it was quite a show. These folks work hard and earn every penny of it. The level of stamina required to put on their show is really unbelievable.
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Official Video for "Duffy":