When it comes to bounce music, there is no bigger name than Big Freedia. The New Orleans native has been in the music business for decades and has been featured on major projects — including Beyoncé’s 2016 smash “Formation” — to highlight the influence of bounce.
Now, Freedia is featured at the very beginning of Drake’s new song “Nice for What,” the rapper’s latest stint in bounce-influenced music. Freedia’s voice is heard opening up the track, as she yells out “I wanna know who mothafuckin’ representin’ in here tonight.”
In an interview with The Fader, the bounce artist said that when she got the call to be included in the song, she was ecstatic. “I was super excited about my voice being at the beginning of the song,” she said. “They sent the track for me to approve it and I was like, ‘Shit, I don’t care what I say on it, long as I’m on it.'”
Freedia noted that this feature, along with her feature on “Formation,” marks a steady path toward mainstream acceptance for the bounce community. “One day we might get our category at these awards or on the charts,” she said. “I’ve worked tremendously hard to make things happen for New Orleans culture. I just want us to get the proper recognition and the proper credit that we deserve.”
That credit, she added, might not be here just yet — while major names like Tiffany Haddish, Issa Rae, Zoe Saldana and Tracee Ellis Ross are featured in the new video for the track (above), only Big Freedia’s voice makes a cameo. “That’s when I say the proper recognition and the proper credit,” she said. “People want to use bounce music as a part of their music but when it comes to the proper recognition of me being in the video, that’s something that we’re steady working towards to make it happen.”
But at the end of the day, Freedia said she was still happy that she got to help get the word out: “The credits are important but, for me, it’s still putting New Orleans on the map and I’m happy with the check.”
Read Big Freedia’s full interview with The Fader here.