It’s time to get glocka! That’s right: Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce returns to TV tonight for Season 3 of the series that gives us an all-access pass into the fabulous, fast-paced life of our favorite queen diva.
And it’s gonna be good, y’all.
New season teasers
“We keep pushing up a notch each season, so then we keep on getting bigger and better. This is my bigger, better, most pimp season yet, baby!” said Freedia, laughing. “We just let our hair down a little bit more this season and give y’all an emotional roller coaster.”
Really, who doesn’t like the sound of that? But coming off of an emotionally exhausting few years that included a dizzying ascent into the spotlight and the loss of her beloved mother, Freedia also admits the weight of last year’s lows catch up to her in Season 3.
“It was a very emotional season. You know, it’s still emotional. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wake up and think about my mom,” Freedia told us.
Finding time to digest those emotions can’t be easy, though, when you work at Freedia’s pace and hit the road with an even bigger team with even bolder personalities.
As they say, mo’ money, mo’ problems. “We’re givin’ y’all lots of drama!” she said. “And we are definitely opening up… you know, we’ll be bringing on a few new others this season, so it will be very interesting to see who we pull on and what happens this season.”
The issue with labels
The new cast members aren’t the only fresh faces we’ll be seeing in Season 3 — Big Freedia is also introducing her boyfriend to the audience and to the Big Freedia fam. It’s a choice that is beautiful and, with all of the hype surrounding hip-hop’s ultra-hetero reputation, brave.
“I know what my message is and I know that we are representin’ for the community, and we’re here to keep it real and keep it pushin’,” she shared of the decision and of their experience as a gay couple in the hip-hop world.
After all, Freedia is no stranger to labels — people have been trying to label everything from her sexuality to her style of dance for decades now. The latter of which, she says, actually has a lot to do with the first.
“You know, people want to put labels on everything,” she said, “and it’s just, like, this is one of those things that doesn’t have a separation. Because at the end of the day, if you’re a straight artist and someone comes up to you to say you do sissy bounce, you will feel offended. That’s what happens a lot of times in this case and that’s why we don’t separate it.”
Bounce is bounce. “It’s always been called bounce music. It will always be called bounce music. So it is what it is. No separation there. We don’t separate our people; we just do what we do.”
The history of twerking, pre-pop stars
When it comes to exactly what it is she does, it’s possible a generational gap — and the bender Miley Cyrus went on over the last few years — has led to some confusion among younger crowds over the difference between bouncing and twerking.
Twerking, in fact, is one subset of bounce, a high-energy ass dance indigenous to New Orleans. For Big Freedia, both stretch back in her memory far before Miss Miley.
“I was a kid when I can first remember twerking,” she said. “It was probably one of my middle school dances, you know, listening to DJ Jubilee or Run DMC and flippin’ upside down on the wall and just gettin’ down with the kids in New Orleans.”
Bounce music has always been an important part of the vibrant Southern city’s culture and history. In truth, not many distinctions are made when it comes to the ever-important role the ass plays in artistic expression in the region.
“People down there love it and they love to do it,” Freedia admitted. “From kids 0 to 99. We even have grandmothers twerking sometimes!”
Now, the world is getting the chance to see this style of music so long encapsulated in New Orleans, and Freedia is happy to be an integral part of the movement.
That ass, though
“I’m getting ready for my U.K. tour that I’m comin’ up on next month, so that’s going to be really exciting,” she said. “We’re going to the other side of the world to shake our asses.”
And when it comes to asses, Freedia undoubtedly has one of the best in the biz. In 2012, MTV even bestowed upon her an award for having “Too Much Ass for TV.” She doesn’t argue the point — bounce music is extremely physical and the proof is in, well, her pants.
“It’s a workout… I gets my workout in,” she admitted, laughing. “Trust me!”
Still, Freedia is quick to concede that there is another woman in Hollywood who may have an even better backside than her royal queen diva-ness. And that woman is Jennifer Lopez.
“J.Lo just gives it, though,” Freedia said. “She gives it regardless. She don’t even have to shake her ass — she can just stand there and give it.”
But, as Freedia says at the outset of her song, “Explode,” she is more than Big Freedia. She is more than a queen diva. And she’s definitely more than the ass she’ll be shaking so much of on Season 3 of Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.
What the future holds
She’s more than the sum of her parts. This year that includes a memoir — Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva, to be released this summer — as well as the values she holds paramount.
“I’m very spiritual. I’m Baptist and I believe in God and that’s the reason that all of these great things are happening in my life,” she told us.
In that vein, the image she hopes to project on the show (and every day) is simply herself — free to be exactly who she is and do what makes her happy without being judged.
And that won’t change as her star continues to rise. “I’m a humble spirit,” she said. “My spirit won’t change.”
We, for one, sure hope not. It’s a damn fine spirit.
Don’t miss Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce Feb. 25 at 11/10c!
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