There has never been a better time to shake watcha momma gave ya— and if mother didn’t pack a heavy trunk, you’ll have to improvise with some extra nasty drops and shakes. No excuses—New Orleans’ bounce star Big Freedia is headlining the Pride edition of Hard French and cheeks across the peninsula will feel the aftershocks.
Unless you caught Freedia in Oakland last year or have witnessed another super booty-fied bounce musician live, you’re probably not ready for this jelly. Really. A quick Google search for Big Freedia and you’ll find yourself sufficiently slapped in the face by glorious asses, bouncing hard and fast to the vicious mash-up of heavy beats. Freedia says he was born with the moves.
“In New Orleans you grow up learning how to pop your ass. We teach ‘em from babies,” he says, taking a break in the studio where he’s putting the final touches on a debut full-length album. “For over two decades, it’s been in the culture here. You wake up with it and go to sleep with it. You breathe it in the air, each and every day.”
The Southern city by the sea is ass over heels for bounce and Freedia says he can catch apple bottoms gettin' down to his genre ‘round the clock. “At a stop light, someone will jump out of their car and start shaking their ass. Happens all the time.”
Big Freedia's love and pride for bounce is beyond evident when you see his nightly performance schedules and over the past year he's introduced the rest of the country to not only the genre, but the presence of a gay hip-hop performer. His summer Go Homo Tour hopes to crush some stereotypes and fight homophobia. He's also just released a five-song EP on Scion A/V Presents and has his fingers crossed for a documentary and reality TV show. I suggested an aerobics video and he hinted that there may be some sort of yoga-bounce combo in the works.
And if that's not enough-- he still operates an interior decorating business; flowers, funerals, weddings. Hard to imagine his wild personality laying out table cloths and vases without a couple booty drops.
His stop at Hard French will be an epic end to Pride weekend, but that doesn't mean dancers shouldn't stretch before the game. The usual soul crowd has got some moves, of course, but Freedia is on a whole new hype. Still, there is no need to be intimidated, as he says, "honey, don't you worry" and gladly offers three suggestions to loosen up loins in preparation for the dance floor.
1. Check out Big Freedia on You Tube
2. Wear some loose clothing so you can be free to move around.
3. Use your muscles— especially in the back and legs. Work that spine!
HARD FRENCH PRIDE FEATURING BIG FREEDIA
Sun/26, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., $20
161 Erie Street, SF