On Saturday night, Beyonce broke the internet once again, dropping a music video for her new song "Formation," which she performed live at the Super Bowl less than 24 hours later. At the one minute and ten second mark of the track, there's a spoken-word interlude, with a fierce voice calling out, "I didn't come to play with you hoes, I came to slay bitch."
The speaker was none other than New Orleans performer Big Freedia, best known for being one of the city's premier bounce artists, and who's collaborated with everybody from American drag queen RuPaul to Diplo. She also wrote an autobiography, God Save The Queen Diva!, which came out last year.
We wanted to find out how the collaboration came about, so we called up the trailblazing artist, and star of Fuse TV series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, to have a quick chat.
THUMP: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, I can imagine your phone's been ringing off the hook these past few days. How did you end up on "Formation"?
Big Freedia: Her publicist gave me a call and said the queen wanted to talk to me herself, and I died in my own skin right then and there. Shortly after, Beyonce herself gave me a call and told me about what she wanted me to do on the song, and I was really excited and overwhelmed to be able to work with her.
Where did you record your part?
I recorded my part separately last week because I'm in New Orleans and sent it over.
Have you met her yet in real life?
We got to hang a few times.
The track also features the late Internet personality and rapper Messy Mya—for those people who don't know, can you explain who he was and his importance to New Orleans culture?
He was a young up-and-coming artist from New Orleans who also did bounce music and was unfortunately killed [in 2010]. He had a lot of potential and he had a lot of fans who really loved him, his style, and what he did. He's important to the culture and may his memory and his message live on.
Tell us about your new single "I Heard" that's coming out in a few weeks.
"I Heard" is going to be something a little different from what you normally hear from me. I'm definitely stepping it up once again to another level.
What can fans of Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce expect from the upcoming fifth season?
All I can say is season five is going to be better and live. It's going to be unbelievable, it'll be epic this year and everybody will be tuned in.
Big Freedia Tour Dates
Feb. 8 - Siberia - New Orleans, LA
Feb. 19 - Seven - Chicago, IL
Feb. 23 - Exit In - Tennessee, TN
Feb. 25 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
Apr. 30 - Republic - New Orleans, LA
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