New Orleans Hip Hop and Bounce

Taking distinctive shape in the early 1990s, New Orleans' local hip hop landscape emerged in important part from the cultural intimacies of the city's patchwork of public housing projects like the Melpomene, Magnolia, Callipoe, and St. Thomas houses. Independent record labels such as Cash Money and No Limit, and local producers like Mannie Fresh and Beats By the Pound were instrumental developing artists like Soulja Slim, Magnolia Slim, Juvenile, Mystikal, Lil Wayne, and Mia X among who pioneered New Orleans' local hip hop sound. During this period there was a significant amount of cross-fertilization with the rise of bounce music in which artists like DJ Jubilee and local label, Take Fo’ Records played foundational roles. Moving away from the "gansta-soldier" persona and swagger central to much New Orleans' hip hop, bounce celebrated the party along with body-centered pleasure and sexuality. With the rise of queer and transgendered artists like Katey Red, Sissy Nobby, and Big Freedia, however, bounce took a turn towards non-normative expressions of black gender and sexuality and embodied critique. While the policy driven aftermath of Katrina shuttered the last of New Orleans' public housing projects and, with it, the cultural roots of much of local hip hop and bounce, so-called sissy bounce has enjoyed a commercial ascendance thanks in large part to a national market receptive to its spectacular performance non-normative blackness.