Beyonce’s new song “Formation” is definitely the new “Flawless,” a smash-hit single — shirts and iPhone cases carrying the song’s title are being made as I write this. Meanwhile, Missy Elliot’s new song “Pep Rally” is her most recent hit since last year’s “WTF (Where They From).” Both of these songs were featured during Super Bowl 50, and are getting all the hype they deserve. However, there’s an artist featured on both tracks who won’t be flying under the radar for much longer: Big Freedia.
Big Freedia can arguably be named the foremost ambassador for “bounce music,” a hip-hop subgenre originating in New Orleans. Big Freedia has already collaborated with RuPaul for the song “Peanut Butter,” has several booty-shaking singles out and stars in their own reality show on Fuse, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.” According to an interview in Vogue, there’s even a possibility of Big Freedia going on Beyonce’s upcoming Formation World Tour.
You can hear Big Freedia’s ad-libbed lines around 1:10 of Beyonce’s song saying “I did not come to play with you h*es, I came to slay, b*tch!” which echoes part of the chorus: “I slay, I slay, I slay.” It’s an exciting moment for Big Freedia, especially since #ICameToSlay became a popular Twitter hashtag after the song’s release.
At the end of “Pep Rally” is where you will hear Big Freedia’s voice once more, quoting her single “Na Who Mad.” It’s only for one count at the end, but any fan of Freedia would recognize it anywhere. Missy makes more reference to bounce music with familiar phrasing: “bounce, biggity-bounce, where my clappers at?”
Big Freedia’s rise can easily be the start of bounce music’s crossover into the mainstream. Both Kesha and Nicki Minaj were able to make it big by appearing on songs again and again before they became household names as solo artists. It’s a possibility that Big Freedia’s name will very soon become recognizable the way that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s did after she was sampled in “Flawless.” Get ready, world. The Queen Diva is about to arrive.