Big Freedia made the DC9 crowd move, especially their backsides. (All photos by Josh Sisk/FTWP)

In cultural conversations about post-Katrina New Orleans, bounce music rarely catches a mention despite crossover hits such as Juvenile’s “Back That [Posterior] Up” that sneaked bounce into pop music more than a decade ago. But like other regional, insular forms of party music (Baltimore’s club, Brazil’s baile funk), the underground dance music culture fed by DJs and blogs is tapping bounce for inspiration at the same time it’s being embraced at alternative music festivals and even South by Southwest.

So thinking that the D.C. scenesters and young professionals who came to DC9 wouldn’t know what they were getting themselves into was incorrect. They came to the club ready to bounce, and Big Freedia was primed to oblige, even if the audience members’ enthusiasm for bouncing often exceeded their execution.


In placing bounce in a rap lineage, Luther Campbell is the first comparison who comes to mind. With party chants equally obscene as Uncle Luke’s best work, drum machine beats at the same tempos and a deification of the derriere in perpetual motion, Freedia worked the crowd into a frenzy for an hour. She conducted a form of carnal square-dancing, with call-and-response refrains, New Orleans neighborhood shoutouts and instructions for increasingly more athletic variations of the basic booty shake.