35 DENTON PRESENTS: HOT WET MESS
When: 1 to 10 p.m. Sept. 1
Where: North Texas Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd.
How much: $15. Reserve tickets at http://bit.ly/QEFZGU
Details: Prepare to get wet
By Rachel Watts
For Little d
If you remember the — er – energetic performance Big Freedia gave at 35 Conferette (now 35 Denton) last year, you have a rough idea of what is in store for you at Hot Wet Mess on Sept. 1. Watch a YouTube video from her 2011 show and you’ll probably spot one or two of your friends onstage with the self-proclaimed “queen diva” of “bounce” music herself, commanding dancers and screaming fans alike to bounce what their mamas gave ‘em.
“I think we’ll be one of the highlights of the festival,” Southern rapper Big Freedia said. “[Audiences] can expect it to be hot, very sweaty, and an absolute mess — in a good way. They can just be expecting a really fun and exciting Big Freedia show.”
Sounds pretty straightforward. For those needing a bit more explanation: audiences can expect to see and hear Freedia’s “bounce” music. She describes it as a simple, heavy bass-driven, call-and-response music that originated in New Orleans more than two decades ago. When Freedia shouts out commands, her all-women ensemble of dancers respond, often by bending over and shaking.
“It’s definitely a party atmosphere music where people can get into it and just let loose and dance any kind of way that they feel,” Freedia said. “My best pointer that I give everybody is that everybody has an ass, no matter what size it is, and they definitely need to learn how to shake it.”
In the spirit of celebrating booty, Freedia says that people often misinterpret her music’s message. She says the music and dancing are not a way of objectifying women but empowering them.
“It’s more empowering, definitely, because everybody has their own freak states to be themselves and to dance the way they feel,” Freedia said. “There’s no explicit or certain kind of way that you have to dance — it’s just whatever rhythm that you get, whatever feeling that comes upon you. It empowers women to just get on the dance floor and let loose.”
Fair enough, but it’s not just women who are dancing to Freedia’s bass-driven loops and diva demands, according to several of her intentionally campy music videos. For example, the official music video for “Ya’ll Get Back Now” off of Freedia’s first album, Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1, features booty bouncin’ men (pudgy computer nerds to be exact) alongside the scantily-clad female bastions of bounce. Also getting back now? A baby and even an English Bulldog.
“It’s about having fun and dancing, and getting connected with yourself on the dance floor,” Freedia said.
Not than any of us can imagine life past Sept. 1 right now, but as far as Freedia’s post-Hot Wet Mess life is concerned, the New Orleans rapper is working on a new single, “Step into the Ring,” and a corresponding music video. She also mentioned she has things lined up with a reality television show, although she claims to live an otherwise ordinary life.
“I’m just steady working and grinding and taking care of home,” Freedia said. “Just the basic things of a normal, honest life, I guess.”
HOT WET MESS MUSIC
The Black Lips
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Fergus & Geronimo
Special guests: RTB2 & DJ Sober