Bounce music

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Bounce music is an energetic style of New Orleans hip hop music which is said to have originated as early as the late 1980s, but is typically believed to have begun with the 1991 single "Where Dey At" by MC T.Tucker and DJ Irv. A highly influential cover of "Where Dey At" was also released by DJ Jimi in 1992.[1]


Bounce is characterized by call and response style party and Mardi Gras Indian chants and dance call-outs that are frequently hypersexual. These chants and call-outs are typically sung over the "Triggerman beat" which is sampled from the songs "Drag Rap" by the Showboys, "Brown Beat" by Cameron Paul, and also Derek B's "Rock The Beat".[2] The sound of bounce has primarily been shaped by the recycling and imitation of the "Drag Rap" sample: its opening chromatic tics, the intermittent shouting of the word "break," the use of whistling as an instrumental element (as occurs in the bridge), the vocoded "drag rap" vocals and its brief and repetitive melody and quick beat (which were produced with use of synthesizers and drum machines and are easily sampled or reproduced using like-sounding elements).[3] Although Bounce music has been performed in many cities across the world and lacks a distinctly "regional sound" often many bounce artists acknowledge geographical areas, neighborhoods and housing projects. [4] Bounce music is characterized by very sexual dancing. The audiences are generally seen with their backs to the performer, bent over and bouncing their hips to the music. Others perform a signature bounce dance called "p-popping". [5]


As hip-hop started to spread outward from its birth in the Bronx, one of the new localities that embraced and advanced the genre was New Orleans. Local producers and record label owners with past success in other black genre’s tried their hand in hip-hop, but soon a new generation got involved. Kevin “MC T. Tucker” Ventry, one of the first Bounce artists, captured the attention of the city in 1991 with his style of rap “defined by a preference for chanted refrains…and the use of several core samples to form the backing music,”[6] two characteristics which came to signify Bounce music. The sub-genre flourished in the city without much national recognition, but soon New Orleans’ artists would take over the country. In the second half of the 1990s, No Limit Records and Cash Money Records, lead by Master P and Birdman respectively, took over. Those artists, while based in Bounce music, certainly saw their ties to the art form “become progressively more tenuous as their national exposure and wealth increased.”[7] A new type of hip-hop that followed in Bounce’s footsteps called “Sissy Rap” emerged and enchanted local audiences in the early 2000s. Rap in the Big Easy had to rebuild as it was focused in parts of the city that were most heavily affected by Hurricane Katrina, but the legacy of Bounce and the future of hip-hop in New Orleans live on.


The genre maintains widespread popularity in New Orleans, LA (the Bounce Capital of the world), and the southern United States and has a more limited following outside of the Deep South. New Orleans' music has a long tradition of gay and cross-dressing performers as truly a part of musical culture. Throughout this decade, the Take Fo' record label has dominated the genre with artists such as DJ Jubilee, Choppa, Baby Boy, Lady Unique, Da' Sha Ra' and Willie Puckett. Performers such as Da Stranger, Katey Red, Big Freedia and Sissy Nobby have also made significant contributions.[8][9]

Like crunk, Miami bass, Baltimore club and Juke music, bounce is a highly regional form of urban dance music. Nevertheless, bounce has influenced a variety of other rap subgenres and even emerged in the mainstream. Atlanta's crunk artists, such as Lil' Jon and the Ying Yang Twins, frequently incorporate bounce chants into their music (such as "Shake It Like A Salt Shaker") and slang (such as "twerk"). Mississippi native David Banner's hit "Like A Pimp" is constructed around a screwed up sample of the "Triggerman" beat.[10] The mixtapes of Three 6 Mafia's DJ Paul also prominently feature traditional bounce sampling. DJ Paul, a native of Memphis, TN, has, in fact, been one of the most prominent purveyors of bounce outside of Louisiana, having incorporated its features into tracks produced for La Chat, Gangsta Boo and his own group, Three 6 Mafia.[11] Another significant mainstream record influenced by bounce music was Beyoncé's 2007 release "Get Me Bodied".[12]

Perhaps the most well known majordomo of bounce music has been Cash Money Records and their former in-house producer Mannie Fresh. Mannie Fresh began producing for MC Gregory D in the late 1980s, but in the early 1990s was signed to Cash Money and produced all of their albums. After Cash Money signed a national distribution deal with Universal Records in 1998, the label's music began to reach much wider audiences. The label's Hot Boys (Juvenile, B.G., Lil Wayne, and Turk) and Big Tymers (Mannie Fresh and Baby) released platinum albums and had several nationally charting hits using the bounce style. This was the genre's first major mainstream exposure.

After Hurricane Katrina, bounce music independently spread with a larger variety of artists such as: Big Freedia, Sissy Nobby, Gotty Boi Chris, Cheeky Blakk, Crowd Mova Crystal, Monsta With Da Fade, Mr. Ghetto, and more. Big Freedia briefly spent time in Dallas performing shows and said that the shows and audiences carried on the music just the same. The newer bounce music is also a more uptempo beat with a constant repeated chant, mixed by the bounce DJ's.

In 2010, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans featured an exhibition entitled "Where They At: New Orleans Hip-Hop and Bounce in Words and Pictures", examining bounce's origins, development, and influence.[12]

Bounce music plays a major role in the second season of HBO drama Tremé, which was broadcast in 2011 and is set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The season's second episode, "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky", features a performance by bounce artists Big Freedia and Sissy Nobby.[13]

Popular bounce music artists, DJs, and producers[edit]



  • 50 Grand
  • Blaza
  • Blaqnmild
  • Cappone
  • DJ Duck
  • DJ Money Fresh
  • Dj K-Real
  • DjWestbankRed
  • Flipset Fred
  • J-Dawg
  • Peacachoo


  1. ^ Miller, Matt (10 June 2008). "Dirty Decade: Rap Music and the U.S. South, 1997–2007". Southern Spaces. 
  2. ^ Bonisteel, Sara (28 August 2006). "Bounce 101: A Primer to the New Orleans Sound". FOX News.
  3. ^ Serwer, Jesse (28 November 2007). "What is it? Bounce". XLR8R.
  4. ^ <>.
  5. ^ <>.
  6. ^ Miller, Matt (2012). Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 
  7. ^ Miller, Matt (2012). Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans. Amherst: niversity of Massachusetts Press. 
  8. ^ McDonnell, John (29 September 2008). "Scene and heard: Bounce and 'sissy rap'". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^ Dee, Jonathan (22 July 2010). "New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap". New York Times. 
  10. ^ Carmichael, Rodney (16 July 2008). "David Banner: Power moves". Creative Loafing. 
  11. ^ "About DJ Paul". MTV. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Spera, Keith (19 July 2010). "Ogden exhibit chronicles the originators of New Orleans 'bounce' rap". Times-Picayune.
  13. ^ Walker, Dave (15 May 2011). "NOLA hip-hop explained: 'Treme' music consultant Alison Fensterstock breaks down bounce music". Times-Picayune.

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