Openly gay rapper Big Freedia brings bounce to TV audience

Openly gay rapper Big Freedia brings bounce to TV audience

NEW YORK — New Orleans hip-hop artist Big Freedia is twerking his way to TV screens.

The openly gay rapper, a representative of the city’s vibrant underground music scene, debuted his weekly Fuse show, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” earlier this month. He’s helped bring bounce music — the energetic brand of hip-hop born in New Orleans that’s conducive to the mid-section, hip-shaking dance move known as twerking — to the masses.

Jeremy Simmons, FUSE/APThis undated photo released by FUSE shows New Orleans hip-hop artist Big Freedia in a recording session.
Jeremy Simmons, FUSE/AP
This undated photo released by FUSE shows New Orleans hip-hop artist Big Freedia in a recording session.

“It’s been around for two decades. It’s the culture there, it’s history there,” he said of the dance.

Last month, Big Freedia earned a Guinness World Records title for most people twerking simultaneously with more than 250 people in New York’s Herald Square.

The performer said his new series, which airs Wednesdays, will reveal more layers of his personality.

“They get to see me on a more personal level. They get to see some of the struggles that I go through day-to-day,” he said.

Big Freedia, who has opened for the Postal Service’s tour this year, discussed his music, Miley Cyrus’ twerking and homophobia in hip-hop in an interview with The Associated Press.

AP: I’ve been hearing that twerking is dead. Do you agree?

Big Freedia: Twerking is definitely not dead. I’ve been twerking for the last three years, converting one twerker at a time all around the world.

AP: Miley Cyrus twerked at the MTV Video Music Awards, among other places. What’s your take on her twerking?

Big Freedia: She really didn’t twerk, you know. She attempted to twerk, but she didn’t really twerk properly and so people were confused and little baffled about the dance moves that she did do.

AP: What is proper twerk technique?

Big Freedia: Definitely practice in the mirror before you attempt it. You have to use your body in the upright position, you can use your knees for support and that’s the only way you can twerk.

AP: How accepted do you feel in the rap community?

Big Freedia: I feel very accepted, like I never have any slander. I never have any issues. You know, like, when people see me, they respect me. It’s all about how you carry yourself.

AP: Are you ever offended by homophobic lyrics?

Big Freedia: Not at all. I know who I am, I stand firm on who I am. Those artists are going to vent out and say what they feel and as long as it’s not, you know, directed to say one person, that’s fine. It’s lyrics. It’s gonna be around for a long time.

AP: When are you going to release new music?

Big Freedia: I have an EP coming out …I also have an album coming out … And I’m about ready to go on my fall tour for five weeks, travelling all around the world and spreading the goodness of bounce music.

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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