In the spirit of Southern Sounds, DJ Sezzo shares her top five NOLA bounce tracks
Bringing the sounds and culture of New Orleans to Waterloo’s The Commune, Southern Comfort have put together one hell of a party. Titled Southern Sounds, it’s going down today boasting a massive lineup including Remi, who will be performing with a full live band, Kaiit, Milan Ring and more.
One of the acts playing is Melbourne selector DJ SEZZO. Ahead of the event, she’s put together a SUPER detailed list of her top five NOLA bounce tracks from over the years. This list is an exciting one as she’s gone into heaps of detail not only about why she loves the tracks, but also with some of the history surrounding it too.
Get amongst it below:
DJ Jubilee – Jubilee All
This is one of the earliest bounce tracks! It has the most incredible clip showing us 90’s New Orleans and is said to be the first recorded use of the word “twerk” on video (the first recorded use ever was apparently Cheeky Blakk). I love DJ Jubilee’s video because men are twerking and there’s iconic Southern marching bands. NOLA bounce tracks sample the Triggerman Beat (see Drag Rap by The Showboys), which serves as the blueprint for NOLA bounce music and is still used today (e.g. Drake’s “Nice For What” and Cardi B’s “Bickenhead”). If you listen closely you can hear that it’s sampled from Inspector Gadget’s theme song. It’s a high pitched ostinato arpeggio instrumental, which I believe really suits twerking given the repetitive ascending/descending pattern of movement. The Showboys themselves were super important to NYC’s early hip hop scene – despite being a very local flavour of hip hop, many conventions of bounce music came from outside New Orleans. It’s percussive, rhythmic, and centred around dance. The repeated call and response style of rap was heavily influenced by the local Mardi Gras Indian tradition, a strong remnant of African diasporic roots.
Da’ Sha’ Ra – Bootin Up
Da’ Sha’ Ra’ are like a NOLA bounce girl group. This clip is a visual time capsule, and the song itself fuses classic NOLA culture like brass bands and ward/project location references (e.g. 9th ward), elements retained in modern bounce music. Jump to 1:34 for my fave jheri curls ever. You won’t regret it.
Magnolia Shorty – Monkey On That Dick
RIP Magnolia Shorty, who was shot in 2010. She was one of the first female rappers signed by Cash Money (whose roster includes Drake and Nicki Minaj). This song is considered to be a bounce classic. What I like about it is the lyrics, she gives it back to the dudes. I suppose you could call them hypersexual but I think that’s sexist, men rap about sex all the time and no one bats an eyelid.
Messy Mya – Project Shit (Hoes In Da Background)
RIP Messy Mya, who was also shot in 2010. Messy Mya was an integral part of the bounce scene in NOLA and was a big personality locally. Even Beyonce sampled an audio segment from a video of Messy Mya walking around New Orleans one day riffing on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (see Formation). While I love NOLA culture being disseminated into the wider consciousness, I’m not sure how I feel about Beyonce doing this. It seemed insensitive because of how disadvantaged he was, that it happened after Messy Mya died, and I’m pretty sure Beyonce didn’t ask the family’s permission (psst you can see it here). The intuitive way he speaks truths and raps together makes me think Messy Mya was really a modern shaman. It makes sense he was so popular and important. What a guy <3
Nicky Da B – Hot Potato Style
This is the style of bounce music that’s most popular today – and it happens to be very queer. Nicky Da B, who died suddenly from illness in 2014, was a queer bounce artist who shot to fame internationally via their collaboration with Diplo in “Express Yourself”. Diplo benefitted a lot from NOLA bounce culture – I think it was Brice Nice, a super knowledgable DJ from NOLA, who showed Diplo a lot of original bounce music and history. I’m not sure how much he gave back to the communities whose music he co-opted, but he did a lot to commercialise and spread the genre of twerk music; some would say he’s a capitalist musical coloniser, others say he’s a populariser. I am hesitant to lump Nicky in with bounce artists such as Sissy Nobby, Katey Red (his mentor) and Big Freedia purely on the basis of their queerness or being trans, but I think there’s something to be said for an entire community supporting what has come to be a predominately queer version of rap music. With this particular song, the super cool cut and paste pop cultural reference style clip reflects the intensely chopped up highly sampled form of modern bounce music imo. Also, Nicky Da B has toured Australia (with Levins!).
Southern Comfort presents Southern Sounds
Saturday December 8 – Commune, Waterloo (18+)
REMI (Full Band Show), Sissy Nobby (USA), Kaiit, Milan Ring, DJ Sezzo, End Notes Big Band, Larrie B2B Dezzy D, Levins B2B Jimmy Sing
Image via Facebook
Intro by CAITLIN MEDCALF
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