Big Freedia Opens BET Awards Pre-Show In Historic Performance

New Orleans’ Queen Of Bounce Big Freedia took BET’s audience by storm–and by surprise–at Sunday’s 18th annual BET Awards, when she opened up the annual event to the stunned delight of her fans.

Big Freedia really is doing it big. Not only is she selling out shows, and making a growing number of high profile features and appearances, but she’s also setting records: Freedia is to date the most successful openly gay rapper in Hip Hop history.

Feeedia is also the first openly gay MC to kick off a major music awards show.

Musically speaking, Big Freedia is credited with taking the New Orleans-specific Bounce sound worldwide.

“Bounce is up-tempo, heavy-bassed, call-and-response-type music. It is a sub-genre for hip-hop based out of New Orleans,” Freedia explained to HuffPost in a recent interview.

I create music for myself first of all because if I’m not happy with the music I create, I can’t make anybody else happy. I create for the platforms that I need to speak to and not just the LGBTQ audience, but also for people who just love to live their life out loud”.

Prior to Freedia’s explosion onto the music scene, most rap fans outside of New Orleans could hardly name one Bounce artist–let alone a single song (although Juvenile’s 1999 hit “Ha” is actually a Bounce track, and the most successful Bounce single to date).

Bounce is still a sub-genre of Hip Hop, but Big Freedia’s impact on taking global can’t be overstated. And did I mention Big Freedia doesn’t give a damn about crossing spociety’s gender lines?

Fans of the Queen understood the impact that Freedia’s performance meant not only for Freedia’s continual rise as an artist, but also for Bounce music as a genre: also not lost is what her performance accomplished for the LGBT community’s visibility and presence in Urban media and Hip Hop.

Freedia’s flamboyant style and twerk mastery has gained her a devoted following across many countries, but she admits she’s felt slighted when bigger name artists have turned to her for vocals, only to leave her out of the resulting video.

That was reportedly the case when Freedia collaborated with Beyonce on 2016’s “Formation”, and more recently with Canadian rapper Drake on “Nice For What”.

“Of course, I feel like I should get more visibility. Who wouldn’t want to be in a Beyoncé or Drake video?” Freedia admits. “But I mean, I’m just happy to be a part of those projects. It’s a starting point. It takes baby steps and it has been taking baby steps throughout my whole career.”–HuffPost

But Freedia went on to add that although she might not be featured in those videos, it’s not gonna slow her hustle: “I may not be in the video, but as long as that check came, I’m good, I’m OK!

Freedia then acknowledged there’s still a stigma when it comes to heterosexual artists performing with openly gay entertainers.

People are still scared of working with a gay artist. They’re so scared of what people are going to say. As soon as somebody collaborates with a gay person, it’s, “Oh, they must be sleeping with each other.” You know, just a lot of bullshit that be very unnecessary.

Feeedia gave Drake credit for working with her without worrying about whispers–although she said the two haven’t met in person.

“I’m breaking barriers”, Freedia continued, then went on to say, “I’m really one of the first out, gay artists to work with two of the most huge artists in the music industry. That’s a big accomplishment, you know? You may not see me visually but as long as you hear this voice. They gonna find out who I am one way or another. I’m pushing through regardless!”

Big Freedia stars in her own highly-rated, Fuse network reality TV show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce. For several years in a row, the show has been the network’s top rated program.

Earlier this month, Freedia dropped her 5th studio album, Third Ward Bounce.


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