|Photo by: bigfreedia.com|
Athens is a small town, there’s no denying that. But that doesn’t mean that exciting things don’t happen here. If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that we have a very enthusiastic music scene stocked with savvy students who all have taste and talent.
No, there’s never been a shortage of great shows to see around here, and that statement doesn’t stop with the local music. In my nearly complete four years in this little slice of paradise I can think of Ben Folds (twice), Times New Viking (twice), Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Janelle Monae, Titus Andronicus and the late, great Jay Reatard as national scale performers who dropped by campus to say hello, and that’s just off the top of my head.
Today, another artist getting national attention will be performing at The Union, and it’s sure to be unlike any performance Athens has ever had the pleasure to behold.
Big Freedia, you see, is unlike any artist I’ve ever seen. A gender bending rapper in itself is a strange notion in a genre that has a history of homophobia, but things keep getting stranger. By day, Fredrick Ross is the owner of an interior decorating business, but by night she unleashes Big Freedia in a furiously fast paced set (we’re talking four or five songs here) that could make some punk shows seem excessive.
That’s about all the bounce music one set of hips can handle anyway. That’s the name of the genre Big Freedia works in, by the way. The music comes out of New Orleans and is most notably used by the rappers of Cash Money Records.
Now, if you’re sitting there and saying “Wait...Cash Money? Isn’t that Lil’ Wayne?” you would be right. If you thought next that “AZZ EVERYWHERE” and “A Milli” sound nothing alike, in my opinion, you would be dead on again.
The punk allusion I made before seems appropriate again when describing bounce music, as it's loud and fast. But it's not the same loud and fast. And everything moves so quickly--including, if you can possibly keep up, your hips and cheeks and any other appendages that move, dangle, wobble or jiggle.
I guess what we’ve established here is that we can’t really establish anything about Big Freedia. She’s a complete enigma: a rapper who’s lyrics don’t seem to matter, who’s gender is poorly defined and indulgence, it seems, is at an all-time low when it comes to the bling, the cars and showing off the lifestyle you live in as a rapper.
Big Freedia seems to be about something else entirely. I can’t quite say what that is yet though. Maybe it’s just having a good time and dancing yourself into a complete frenzy--there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
So if you’re seeking a better understanding, or just a reason to let loose and get sweaty, the show will begin at 9 p.m. with DJ Barticus opening. Tickets are on sale at Haffa’s Record Shop for $12 or $15 at the door.
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