Big Freedia chases rainbows with ‘Louder’.

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East West Records

The cover of Big Freedia’s fourth extended play, ‘Louder’.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

American rapper, singer-songwriter, and musician Big Freedia is a living legend and the Queen of New Orleans.

Since the start of her professional career in 1999, she’s become a prolific figure on the Queer music scene and has been credited for pioneering the mainstream acceptance of bounce music, which is a style of hip-hop that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana as early as the late 1980s and is primarily performed by Black, Queer artists and entertainers.

Following a handful of non-album singles, Big Freedia released her debut album, Queen Diva, in 2003 and earned some notoriety on the bounce scene before achieving mainstream exposure in 2009 after performing at two highly publicized local festivals, The New Orleans Bingo! Show and The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

Her mainstream stardom continued to grow over the next decade, as she put out loads of music, including two albums — Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1 (January 2010) and Just Be Free (June 2014) — and two EPs — Scion A/V Presents Big Freedia (2011) and A Very Big Freedia Christmazz (December 2016) — alongside numerous standalone singles; starred in her very own reality television series, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, which ran for six seasons between October 2013 and November 2017; and released her autobiography, Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva, in July 2015.

Additionally, she gained further recognition for her collaborations with American drag queen and singer RuPaul; the one and only, Beyoncé; and American rapper and musician Drake before signing her first major record deal with Asylum Records in 2018 and dropping her debut major-label EP, 3rd Ward Bounce, in June of that year, spawning the successful singles “Rent” and “Karaoke” with American singer-songwriter and flutist Lizzo.

After her positively received collaborations with English singer-songwriter Charli XCX and American singer-songwriter Kesha in 2019, Freedia released her second major-label EP, Louder, as the follow-up to 3rd Ward Bounce in early March.

The EP continues her signature bounce sound; while also sporting added elements of soul on tracks like “Pipe That” with Swedish pop duo Icona Pop and New Orleans-based brass ensemble The Soul Rebels, Bollywood on “Tipsy”, and rock on “GTFOMF” with American rapper and singer-songwriter lil aaron; and explores familiar lyrical topics, such as self-empowerment and LGBTQ+ Pride.

The lead single and title track is another collaboration with Icona Pop and an audacious self-love anthem that sees Freedia boldly proclaiming that she is “that b***h”, asserting that she has the power, and the second single, “Chasing Rainbows” with Kesha, is an inspiring bop about searching for equality that comes with a super campy music video in which Freedia and Kesha spread love and Pride all across the world riding on flying clouds.

A major voice for the LGBTQ+ community on the mainstream music scene as well as the hip-hop industry, which is notoriously queerphobic, Big Freedia continues to break down boundaries with her floor quakin’, a*s shakin’ music; and Louder is available now across all online and streaming platforms.

Stream Louder on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1LoYYEZkYPEXKzTiw7p37T?si=u2t2V6quSnOstuc6fcKVeA 

Watch the music video for “Chasing Rainbows”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlNI7UhRoyc

Big Freedia in the music video for “Chasing Rainbows”.