Some people are limited by their surroundings. Some people only have the capacity to work within their environment, and then there are those that are dreamers through and through. More over there are those that put their dreams to action and take them on the road. Big Freedia is the latter.
I heard about Big Freedia when a friend of mine invited me to her birthday celebration and was hell bent on making sure it was spent in the audience at a Big Freedia show. I got to see her at The Bootleg Bar, a small venue in Los Angeles’ Westlake area.
The place may not be very large but to Big Freedia it feels like an auditorium. Just the night before she was featured on the Jimmy Kimmel show and now she is performing for a packed house in Los Angeles. It is a far cry from the projects of New Orleans.
13 years ago Big Freedia was just Freddie Ross, a black gay young man in one of the roughest cities in the nation. A place that is not always known for its liberal values and acceptance but Big Freedia has a strong spirit.
I could feel her spirit from the crowd, surrounded by other people I felt like I was making direct contact with the artist. She spits bar after bar over thundering bass and drum rhythms signature to Bounce music and then cuts out the music to deliver acapella rhymes with all the passion of a southern preacher.
Not mentioning the dancing would be to omit Eiffel Tower when describing Paris. On stage are two wonderfully curvy women shaking what their momma gave them. From on top of the speaker to the handstand, even crown surfing. The show is a jaw dropping, energetic, exciting, and interactive. The dancers invite audience members on stage to join the fun and they gladly participate.
Though it is sexy, don’t confuse it for anything more that a good time. Letting loose, and feeling the music. Pushing through inhibitions and going with the flow. Big Freedia brings a side out of her fans they often didn’t know they had.
When speaking to her you notice that she is more soft spoken than you might imagine and sharing her message as well. ” Being black and gay in New Orleans is tough, surrounded by murder and crime. To make it to Los Angeles is more than a dream.”
Big Freedia isn’t limited by her origins but catalyzed by them stating, “Even [from] the worst situations dreams can come true”. One of the lyrics from the song Work Babydoll Work expresses exactly that sentiment. ” No more dreams, its reality/ no don’t go lookin’ on the world/ I’m in the galaxy”.