The best-known name in bounce, the New Orleans-based hip-hop varietal that’s received national attention for its gender-bending dance-floor frenzy, is getting ready for her musical closeup. And we can’t wait. Fresh from the first season of her (happily renewed) reality show “Queen of Bounce,” Big Freedia is preparing for the release of Just Be Free, her first proper full-length, nationally distributed album.
While the album won’t be released until June 17, we now have its lead-off single, “Explosion.” The result is pure bounce pleasure. Admittedly, for listeners unused to the genre, this pleasure might initially be hard to see. Bounce is a musical style organized on a single beat, the so-called “Triggerman” rhythm from “Drag Rap,” an otherwise unknown 1986 hip-hop single by the Showboys. Pulled out of its original context and sped up, the beat–combined with a fast-paced stutter-chant from the MCs–is the tension-releasing drop that powers bounce, and a sure signal for all dancing hell to break loose. Listened to this way, “Explosion” becomes a series of peaks and valleys that return, crashing, to an essential dancing core.
So turn it up loud enough to feel, and get ready for June 17.