MFNW: Big Freedia, The Queen Diva

It’s MusicFest NW week here in Portland, and though it takes a lot for a shorty like me to brave the crowds of unbelievably tall dudes who magically appear out of thin air during music festivals, tonight I am heading out for one reason and one reason only: Big Freedia. It’s Bounce time, y’all!

For those of you who haven’t been following Big Freedia’s rise to relative fame and notoriety, she is a rapper in the Sissy Bounce scene in New Orleans. What is Sissy Bounce, you ask? It’s just what it sounds like: Bounce rap performed by self-identified “sissies.” While rap is not necessarily a genre known for its queer friendliness, Sissy Bounce is turning that notion on its outmoded ear—and providing some awesome dance music along the way. Need proof? Check out this video of Big Freedia and Sissy Nobby performing at One-Eyed Jack’s (warning: chair-dancing may occur):

If you’re interested in learning a little more about the Bounce scene, check out this FaderTV interview with Big Freedia:

For those of you who live in the Portland area, Big Freedia is performing tonight at the Roseland Theater (look out for those tall dudes!). If you aren’t in town, you can still check out Big Freedia’s music at her website (and you definitely should).

Bitch Bonus! We interviewed Big Freedia at Gay Bi Gay Gay in Austin last year! Listen to the audio here. Or right here!

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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4 Comments Have Been Posted

Oh Noes!!!

My brain cannot take that much booty!! :-D I am on Booty Overload.

So glad to find out about Sissy Bounce. I really love the reclaiming of the word "sissy." It's a word with so much potential for embracing its awesome connotations!

on sissy

According to the <a href=" Magazine</a> article on it, the term is kind of controversial:

<blockquote>Some part of this subgenre’s popularity is surely due to the catchily discordant name by which it has become known: sissy bounce. The term is problematic, because the artists themselves do not care for it at all — not because they object to the word “sissy” but because they consider it disrespectful to bounce music. Even when their lyrics are at their frankest (“I’m a punk under pressure/When we finish, put my money on the dresser”), they rush to point out, correctly, that they’re just drawing from the life at hand in the same way virtually every rapper does. They have no desire to be typed within, or set apart from, bounce culture; and indeed, within New Orleans itself, they mostly are not — even as their bookings elsewhere in the country are founded increasingly on the novelty of their sexual identities.</blockquote>

<b>Kjerstin Johnson, Web content manager</b>
<a href="/comments-policy">Did someone say "Comments Policy"?</a>

To be fair...

In our interview with her last year, Big Freedia identified herself as a "Sissy Bounce rapper," so I felt OK about including the term in this post.

Thanks for pointing out that it is not everyone's preferred term though. The last thing I want to do is discredit Big Freedia—I think she's awesome!
<b>Kelsey Wallace, web editor</b>

<i>Ask me about our <a href="">Comments Policy</a>!</i>

I didn't mean anyone was in

I didn't mean anyone was in the wrong, I just remember that point struck me as interesting when I read the piece (and who knows if the journalist got it right?) All I know is that I'm excited about seeing Big Freedia again!

<b>Kjerstin Johnson, Web content manager</b>
<a href="/comments-policy">Did someone say "Comments Policy"?</a>

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