Will 'bounce' go mainstream with Big Freedia's new show?
The New Orleans underground hip-hop genre ‘bounce’ will now have a mainstream audience via cable TV.
Big Freedia, known as the ‘Queen of Bounce,’ will star in a reality show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, on Fuse network, showcasing ‘bounce’ and the surrounding culture. Off stage, the performer’s name is Freddie Ross, but his on-stage persona is a woman.
‘Bounce’ is rap over quick, repetitive dance beats. The lyrics generally contain a call-and-response interaction with the audience, originating from Mardis Gras Indian chants and early rap, and sexually explicit language. Mainly women dance to ‘bounce’ by shaking their booties very quickly.
Katey Red was the first drag queen to gain notoriety as a ‘bounce’ artist about 12 years ago.
The majority of ‘bounce’ artists are straight, but following the rise of several drag queen performers a sub-genre that was originally branded ‘sissy bounce’. However, the so-called ‘sissy bounce’ artists have rejected that moniker.
On her website Big Freedia’s bio reads:
Though gay and proud, Big Freedia asserts that her (Freedia is a he but uses the feminine pronoun for her stage persona) sexuality has little to do with her music and rejects the term Sissy Bounce (the queer brand of Bounce). ‘All Bounce is Bounce,’ he insists. ‘There’s no need to separate it out. All types of people—gay, straight, rich, poor, black, white come to my shows.’
While she is far from a household name, Big Freedia has made two cameo appearances on the HBO series Treme, which is named after a New Orleans working class neighborhood. She has also showcased her music on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. During a 2012 episode, Big Freedia was the musical guest and performed her songs “Excuse” and “Nah Who Mad.”
Freedia’s new reality show on Fuse will bring ‘bounce’ music and culture to a new audience across the country.
“I’m very excited about that, but I’ll be a little scared about it, too,” Freedia said in an interview with Fuse. “They’ll be in my life a full 24/7. It’ll be all of my music and all of a lot of a**es all over the world.”
This summer Big Freedia is scheduled to tour with electronic pop group The Postal Service.
After a summer of touring, Big Freedia’s reality show will air on September 18th.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.