Entertainment :: Television

Big Freedia: Queen Of Bounce

by Andrew  Clark
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Wednesday Oct 2, 2013
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Fuse is about to take a chance on rising star Big Freedia to launch a new audience with their new show, "Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce." The eight-episode show follows a gay male who is known for gender bending and booty bouncing on her journey to break out being known simply as a gay artist and trying to be recognized as a legitimate force in urban dance music.

With the rise and fascination of white artists who are trying on some of the more underground urban trends such as Miley Cyrus’ obsession with, and popularization of, long-time dance trend "twerking," Big Freedia’s show may be coming at a great time. While Freedia has been one of the many outspoken critics of Cyrus and other white artists appropriating urban culture for their own image, it can’t be denied that these events could help propel her own success.

The premiere episode of "Queen of Bounce" begins by explaining the basics of bounce music. Based in New Orleans, the music trend has significantly gained momentum over the last decade, with artists such as Lil Wayne and popular producer Diplo frequently using its influences to create mainstream urban smashes. It is an energetic form of dance music that employs rapid-fire and often aggressive vocal techniques to encourage rapid dance movements.

As Freedia explains in the premiere episode, it was after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that bounce music found its way into the larger club mindset of the city. As one of the first performers back in the city, and putting on lots of performances, Freedia quickly became one of the go-to names when creating a bounce night in a club or a bounce themed concert.

The premiere episode of the show focus largely on setting up the atmosphere and background of Big Freedia, including challenges for someone like her in an aggressive genre.

With collaborations and tours with large names like RuPaul, The Postal Service, Matt & Kim, as well as buzzworthy sets at South By Southwest, mainstream music executives have begun to take notice of not just Big Freedia, but the idea of bounce music itself. In the show, we get to see Freedia’s supportive family, steadfast crew and friends, and packed clubs reacting strongly to her signature performance style.

The premiere episode of the show focus largely on setting up the atmosphere and background of Big Freedia, including challenges for someone like her in an aggressive genre. In order to gain some mainstream buzz, her label is working to pair her with another up-and-coming name in bounce music, Mr. Ghetto. As they set up their tour, Freedia must show that she has the talent, strength, and performance skills to bring her oft-proclaimed brand of "sissy bounce" to the same clubs as a performer like Mr. Ghetto.

It is an interesting introduction to bounce music and Big Freedia herself, if at times a bit too niche. Still, while this show and bounce music itself certainly isn’t for everyone, it is wonderful that Fuse recognizes its growing popularity and influence within the dance scene. And there isn’t a more dynamic character in the genre than Big Freedia.

"Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce" premieres on Fuse on Oct. 2, 11/10C.

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