In honor of new album, Just Be Free, the Queen Diva, Late-Night Creepa, New Orleans' Big Freedia (a gay man, if you don't already know, who answers to "he or she"), brought her booty-shakin' bounce party to Bardot Miami's carpet stage last night.
The rich and fabulously fierce cross-dressing tradition of her home turf was on full display as Freedia dropped repetitive fragments of infectious, hypnotic lyrics over precipitous beats.
There was also, as the Diva would say, "booty, booty, booty, booty, booty, booty, booty, booty, booty!"
Bounce, a subgenre of rap, is as much an underground social movement as it is a musical one. The latest of its kind to come out of New Orleans.
It began at the street level in the housing projects around New Orleans, it remained been hidden from the mainstream for decades, and it took a devastating natural disaster -- Hurricane Katrina -- to bring this to national attention.
These days, with a non-stop touring schedule, her own reality show, even an upcoming book, Freedia just might be the ambassador of bounce.
Freedia started the show a bit later than expected.
She apparently skipped the sound check earlier in the evening, and not knowing where the equipment had been placed, tripped over a monitor as she was approaching the carpet stage to begin her set.
She fell flat on the floor, later remarking, "That was the first time in 15 years that's happened!"
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But nothing keeps the Queen Diva down for long.
She popped up and pounced hard, delivering a performance that exemplified all the sexuality and hard-edge dance rhythms of bounce. And the show seemed to be over in minutes. Or maybe she'd just so thoroughly transformed the room into a sweaty, twerking, werking mob of booty shakers that we lost track of time.
"I see ass over here, ass over there/I see ass everywhere, ass everywhere," Freedia giddily spit.
No one gets rawer than Freedia. She commands the crowd in a primal and exciting way, throwing down hard beats that loop around explicit themes.
The Diva's vocal style booms; her voice is as deep as Chuck D's. And she absolutely demands that we shake, drop, and pop it for every song. In "Y'Tootsay" and "Mo Azz," everybody is ordered to -- you guessed it -- bounce that booty to the beat.
On the way out, we asked the Queen Diva, Late-Night Creepa, Big Freedia for her review.
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"It was fun times!" she shrieked. "And lots of azz everywhere! Can't wait to return! Girl down!"
-- Sonia Melamed
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