Three black singers in not-so-black genres you need to know

Farida Dawkins January 29, 2018
Last Edited by:Farida Dawkins Updated: January 29, 2018

Big Freedia

Born Freddie Ross, the 39-year-old artist specializes in a genre called Bounce. Ross is a gay male that prefers to be referred to as “she.” She started her career by singing in the choir of her Louisiana Baptist church. She is credited with putting a genre of music called bounce on the map. After being a choir member and director while in high school, Freedia decided to pave out a way for a music career. She was inspired when she watched a drag queen perform a bounce song and ended up becoming the drag queen’s backup singer. Freedia became displaced by Hurricane Katrina and was forced to move to Texas. This gave her an opportunity to market bounce music.

Freedia’s career began gaining traction by 2009; being featured on an album called ya-ka-may by funk band Galactic; it peaked at #161 on the Billboard charts. Most recently, Freedia was featured in Beyoncè’s video for Formation where Freedia can be heard saying “I did not come to play with you hoes, haha. I came to slay, bitch! I like cornbread and collard greens, bitch! Oh yas, you besta believe it.”

Freedia’s voice was also used to open Beyoncè’s Formation 2016 tour; Freedia is heard “Oh Miss Bey, I know you came to slay! Give them hoes what they came to see. Baby, when I tell you, I’m back by popular demand. I did not come to play with you hoes. I came to slay, bitch! Oh yes, you best believe it, I always slay. You know I don’t play!”

Bounce is an off-set of hip-hop which originated in the Bronx, NY. Bounce is characterized by a call and response style with Mardi Gras Indian hymns that are of a sexual overtone. Then these words are sung over what is called a “Triggerman beat.”


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