Big Freedia gives a new boost to the boom

Bounce queen Big Freedia became famous after being chosen by Drake and Beyoncé. In their first new album in nine years, they’ve given the genre a second breath.

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For now, the name Big Fredia, Freddie Ross Jr.’s nickname, might not have rung much bells. But ever since Drake and Beyoncé sampled it, the spotlight has been on this side of the ocean as well. Big Freedia is the prodigious billboard of Bounce, a jumpy and percussive twerk version of hip-hop that’s been making New Orleans’ underground extra swampy since the 1990s. With their second album, their first in nine years, Big Freedia has given the genre a new boost. Bounce is known for its raw energy, harsh call-and-responsevocals and thick bass, but the self-proclaimed queen diva gives more praise to the raw sound. In one movement, she reaches out to a wider audience. Entry ‘Central City Freestyle’ shuts the door immediately, but songs like ‘Motivate Ya’ and ‘$100 Bill’ dance around a rounded melody and soulful vocals. The title of Big Freedia’s record refers to the musical neighborhood that created her, with carnivalesque New Orleans horns appearing on ‘Voodoo Magic’. Best of all is ‘Life Lessons’, a poignant ballad of the wisdom she inherited from her mother.

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