Video Vault, Episode 5: Big Freedia “Excuse”

I don’t remember how or when I first heard of Big Freedia, the Queen Diva of the New Orleans’ bounce scene, but I’m pretty sure it all started with the below video, which is a tongue-in-cheek instructional video of Freedia, who arrives in a black cape like superhero, teaching a bunch of struggling hipsters how to twerk like they’re taking a yoga class. Y’all may have recently learned about twerking from Miley Cyrus’s sad display at the MTV Video Music Awards last weekend – just another example of a white person co-opting black culture. Freedia herself has mixed feelings about the spectacle, noting she could teach Miley a thing or two: “Just get me and Miley together so I could give her ass some lessons…” Literally.

Finally, after years of attempts, I got to witness Big Freedia in action over the weekend at the annual AFROPUNK Fest in Brooklyn. She did not disappoint. She came equipped with her own dancers, but put them to shame during the finale, which was “Excuse.”

If this video whets your appetite, you can learn more about Freedia from this great New York Times profile, see her live at Brooklyn Bowl, or tune in to her forthcoming reality TV show.

Get ready to wobble.



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