Big Freedia

Published on February 25th, 2022

Some people, like sharks, have got to keep moving in order to survive. This work ethic is rare for most and non-existent for many, but for Big Freedia, the gender-blending rap queen of New Orleans bounce music, working it is what she does.

This restless entertainer has bettered everything from Beyonce’s Grammy-award winning Formation and Drake’s Nice For What to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve. Her own show, “Big Freedia Bounces Back,” ran six seasons on Fuse TV. Her 2015 memoir, “God Save The Queen Diva!” is out in paperback. Making Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list in October was, for Big Freedia (pronounced “Frida” like Frida Kahlo), a culmination of work that began in the ’90s. None of this is overnight.

Big Freedia

She has come to personify Big Easy bounce, with its hypersexy call-and-response chants over infectious beats and dance hall call-outs, and a physical mix of crunk, vogue and twerk that is death defying and an absolute embodiment of joy. Big Freedia presides in a resonant voice and an orator’s style, sounding both serious and irreverent on thumpers like her cover of “Judas,” for Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Reimagined” tenth anniversary album, and “Not Today,” a collaboration with Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters and NOLA compadre Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph of Tank and the Bangas and Galactic.

“ ‘Not Today’ is a track about setting limits with people,” Big Freedia has said of this standout from “Big Diva Energy,” a six-song EP she released in September. “It’s about the people who use you and think you aren’t paying attention. I’m saying, ‘I see you and it’s not gonna happen today, not tomorrow –– not never bitch!’ ”

Big Freedia is also an advocate for LGBTQ causes, and for racial and gender equality. So, basically, everyone is invited to this party. But be prepared to do it like they do in New Orleans — they won’t wait for you; you just gotta catch up and lay it down low to the ground.

Big Freedia SHOW CANCELLED:( ~ Tim Moffatt