Big Freedia and Nicole Balin. “Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva!”, Gallery Books, 2015.
What a Memoir
Big Freedia was born Freddie Ross and today she is a New Orleans hip-hop musician known for bringing “bounce” from the underground music scene to the forefront of the industry. “Known for her supreme star power and charismatic charm, Big Freedia has performed alongside such artists as pop duo Matt and Kim, Wiz Khalifa, and Snoop Dogg”. She has her own reality show “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce”. This is her first book. I suppose we can call it a memoir as it tells the story of this gay momma’s boy (as Big Freedia calls herself) who came onto the music scene where she found acceptance, healing, self-expression, and stardom! I am surprised that I am unacquainted with Big Freedia but I suppose our times in New Orleans have been different.
Bounce music, I understand, is based in New Orleans and Big Freedia is its “undisputed ambassador” and she is not afraid to twerk, wiggle, and shake her way to self-confidence, and encourages her fans to do the same. In this book she shares the inside story of her path to fame, “the peaks and valleys of her personal life, and the liberation that Bounce music brings to herself and every one of her fans who is searching for freedom”.
Big Freedia tells us that being a “twerking sissy” is not just a job, she says, but a salvation as she yanks us into her personal life and as she says her career as an artist. She finds solace and comfort in her work and because of it she has been able to
escape from the battles she faced growing up in the worst neighborhood in New Orleans. She has had to deal with losing loved ones to the violence on the streets, drug overdoses, and jail. She survived hurricane Katrina by living on her roof for two days with three adults and a child. Sometimes to truly enjoy living, we have to deal with difficulties.
I must be honest—I never heard of the Bounce music movement—I guess I have been gone from New Orleans for too long (but it is nice to read of someone from my home town making good). Big Freedia has made her mark and made some incredible friends, characters of all kinds. She has a lot of enthusiasm. We learn how she got to this
defining moment in music, and how Bounce ultimately has allowed her to become her own version of diva, “one booty-pop at a time”.