Big Freedia Lays Out The Basics Of Bounce | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Big Freedia Lays Out The Basics Of Bounce

Play associated audio

Born out of New Orleans club culture, bounce music isn't just best experienced in person — it's almost impossible to understand in the abstract. But Big Freedia (pronounced "free-duh"), one of the style's biggest stars, says the music does have a few defining features.

Bounce is based in hip-hop. It favors punchy tempos, heavy bass and call-and-response vocals. Many of the songs are structured around a handful of samples, most notably a snippet from "Drag Rap," a 1986 track by the New York rap group The Showboys.

"We use those beats in a lot of our music," Freedia says. "We know how to flip it a million and one ways — and the producers, they know what to do with it to make the crowd jump."

That's another thing: Bounce is party music, hypersexual and made to be danced to. (The more your butt is moving, the better). Freedia says that's why the lyrics are usually kept simple: "You've gotta leave room for the bass and the boom and the knock," she says, "and for people to be able to just free themselves and express themselves through dance."

Big Freedia is the stage name of Freddie Ross, a New Orleans native who, in the late 1990s, helped usher in a wave of openly queer bounce performers. Today, she's one of the few bounce artists with national exposure, and her profile is about to get bigger: a documentary about her life, a dance instruction DVD and her first proper full-length album are all in the pipeline. To hear her conversation with NPR's Robert Smith, click the audio link on this page.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 24

An aromatic exhibit turns art into eye candy and a new play explores a salacious mentorship.

NPR

With Help From America's Test Kitchen, Why Buy When You Can DIY?

Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to America's Test Kitchen's Chris Kimball about foods that are easier than you'd guess to make at home. Fresh Nutella or kale chips, anyone?
WAMU 88.5

Congress Unlikely To Approve Plan On Immigrant Children Until After Recess

The political response to the tens of thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children in the country is largely split along partisan lines, and legislation is not forthcoming.

NPR

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.