Big Freedia has come a long way since her first 1999 single “An Ha, Oh Yeah.” Over the years, she has not only made cameos in RuPaul singles and dropped a “Christmazz” album with the song “Santa Is a Gay Man,” but racked up GLAAD nominations and even performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Baby gay is now all grown up and with her own reality show on the Fuse Channel.
Big Freedia has also become the unofficial queer ambassador for the hip hop subgenre of bounce music, from the looks of it. On Drake’s recent single “Nice for What,” Freedia opened up the track with her signature voice calling out, “I wanna know, who mothafuckin’ representin’ in here tonight?” It’s one of the biggest platforms yet for a queen known primarily for evangelizing a niche genre that only recently made its way out of New Orleans (well, relatively.)
Bounce music, for the uninitiated, is Freedia’s genre of choice — a very queer-friendly party starter that champions repetitive chanted lyrics and headstrong beats. It also plays heavily into Big Freedia’s most recent single, “Rent,” which combines bounce with ‘80s hip hop, electric guitar, and a liberal use of sirens. The track has already accumulated more than half a million hits on Spotify and YouTube.
The single is actually part of a larger EP, 3rd Ward Bounce, which debuts June 1st and will be followed by a summer-long “feel-good” tour. (We could use one of those, for sure.) According to Rolling Stone, the album’s other singles don’t rely too heavily on bounce, and often surprise with stirring choruses and electronic handclaps.
Freedia also told Rolling Stone that she once ordered 100 hot wings for her crew before recording “Karaoke” in L.A., which means we are now Googling “best hot wings in L.A.” and “how to go on tour with Big Freedia.”