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HO HO WHO: Big Freedia, the reigning Queen of Bounce—as in bounce music, the glitchy, clap-heavy, beat-driven genre of New Orleans hip-hop that goes hand-in-hand with twerking. Since her 2014 album Just Be Free, she’s been dropping a steady stream of singles and guesting on songs with other artists. Lately, you’ve heard her yelling “I did not come to play with you hos!” on Beyoncé’s “Formation.” Her recently released EP A Very Big Freedia Christmazz is here to get you popping around the Christmas tree. Fellow New Orleans bounce songstress Ms. Tee supplies the supporting vocals.
TWERKING HOLIDAY: Typically, any attempt to ramp a children’s Christmas song up to sexxy is an embarrassing disaster for all involved, but Big Freedia is anything but typical. The familiar melody starts out only slightly distorted, while Ms. Tee switches up the lyrics to, “Rudy the big booty reindeer/ Had a very big behind/ And if you saw it jiggle/ It would really blow your mind.” The beat picks up, and Big Freedia assertively chants the next verse before the the whole thing escalates into a true bounce anthem. There’s looping rhythms, punctuating church bell chimes, beat drops, and Freedia’s own unmistakable vocals (she has the uncanny ability to seemingly do a call and response with herself). By the time the siren blares kick in, there’s absolutely no chance you’re sitting still.
DANCE OF THE SUGAR BUM FAIRY:On “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” Nelly famously introduced “reindeer” as a euphemism for a thick butt to millions of white people. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long for someone to take the term and spin it into an booty-centric tribute to “Rudolph”—but I’m glad that Big Freedia is the one to do it. Her take is energetic, amusing, and wickedly absurd enough to not feel like a trite cover. It clocks in at just under five minutes, a near eternity in dance or Christmas music minutes, but it feels like it’s over in the blink of an eye.
Cheer Factor: 10/10. This jam has more spirit than a trough of spiked eggnog and more jiggle than a bowlful of jelly. I double dog dare you to not shake your rump while this song is playing.