Hip-hop holds a tenuous place in New Orleans culture. On the one hand, the city is associated with traditional styles of jazz and brass band that are challenged by the aggressive sounds and themes associated with hip-hop. On the other hand, hip-hop can be viewed as simply the latest in a long lineage of musical styles that derived from African approaches to music making in New Orleans dating back to the slave dances at Congo Square.
The region’s most distinctive genre is Bounce, which emerged out of the clubs and housing projects in the late 1980s and features a distinctive drum “track” known as the “Triggerman” beat. In the 1990s, several transgender rappers entered the Bounce scene, and that movement was later dubbed “Sissy Bounce.”
New Orleans also boasts two internationally famous hip-hop record labels: Master P’s No Limit and the Williams brother’s Cash Money. Many local rappers recorded for these labels and received global attention, including Mannie Fresh, Juvenile, Mystikal, and Lil Wayne.