In the words of Big Freedia, she did not come to play with you hoes!
The reigning queen of New Orleans bounce music, is also the larger than life voice behind several mainstream hits like Formation and Nice For What? but fans have often been left wondering why artists like Beyoncé and Drake were so quick to use her vocal talents, while refusing to let her actually appear in their videos.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Freedia opens up about her past, her mission to increase LGBTQ visibility, and how she feels about Bey and Champagne Papi’s choice not to put her in the spotlight.
“Bounce is up-tempo, heavy-bassed, call-and-response-type music. It is a sub-genre for hip-hop based out of New Orleans,” Freedia explains.
“I create music for myself first of all because if I’m not happy with the music I create, I can’t make anybody else happy. I create for the platforms that I need to speak to and not just the LGBTQ audience, but also for people who just love to live their life out loud.
And I create just for inspiration [for] people of color. I come from a community plagued with so much poverty and violence and homophobia. Now, I can express myself, make my music how I want. I choose my visuals how I want. I don’t have to ask anybody for permission.”
Does it hurt being snubbed by Beyonce and Drake?
“Of course, I feel like I should get more visibility. Who wouldn’t want to be in a Beyoncé or Drake video?” Freedia admits. “But I mean, I’m just happy to be a part of those projects. It’s a starting point. It takes baby steps and it has been taking baby steps throughout my whole career.”
“I’m getting more recognition and, you know, everything is not always visual. I tell people all the time, “I may not be in the video, but as long as that check came, I’m good, I’m OK!”
I’m breaking barriers. I’m really one of the first out, gay artists to work with two of the most huge artists in the music industry. That’s a big accomplishment, you know? You may not see me visually but as long as you hear this voice. They gonna find out who I am one way or another. I’m pushing through regardless!”
“I’ve been dying to do something with Ms. Patti LaBelle because she is so iconic. I grew up listening to her with my mom in the house. She is such a big inspiration to me.
I would love to do something with many artists, you know: Fantasia, Cardi B, Lil Wayne, J.Lo, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson. There’s so many of them! All of them are iconic in their own way and to collaborate with any of those artists of that magnitude would be such an honor for me because I grew up listening to them and I love their music.”
Big Freedia’s EP “3rd Ward Bounce” dropped at the beginning of this month and her world tour kicking off soon.