Presenters: Aniyah Peterson, Alyssa Armstrong, Amber Sylvain, Desirae Banks, Jaden Jackson


Bounce music is rooted in and inherently connected to New Orleans culture. Bounce music can be categorized as a style of music that originated in the city’s housing projects during the late 1980’s. The backbone of the genre is its use of the “Triggerman” beat, paired with heavy brass band beats and Mardi Gras Indian chants and call and response routines. 

Bounce popularized at a club called Ghost Town by MC T. Tucker. Amidst the primary song’s local acclaim for Tucker’s crude live-recording, DJ Jimi studio-recorded a full-length album in 1992 titled It’s Jimi for producer Isaac Bolden’s Soulin’ Records, and included both a more polished version of the original song, which he called “(The Original) Where Dey At,” and a debut feature by rapper, DJ Jubilee, who released “Do the Jubilee All,” a year later. In the 90’s, when the biggest rap hits were coming from the East and West coasts, Bounce was outselling all other hip-hop records in the New Orleans metropolitan area. 



Past Culture

 Bounce music “is inspired by Mardi Gras Indian chants, beats, and call-and-response” (Big Freedia). 

Indian Chants/History

“On Mardi Gras in 1885, 50 to 60 Plains Indians marched in native dress on the streets of New Orleans. Later that year, the first Mardi Gras Indian gang was formed; the tribe was named “The Creole Wild West”” which consisted of enslaved Africans and Native Americans.  New Orleans rhythm and blues has strong Indian roots. Street music was the root of all the songs that got to be known as New Orleans rhythm and blues,” said George Porter Jr., bassist for the Meters and leader of Running Pardners. And some of the mightiest sounds around sprang from the improvised tom-toms of the Mardi Gras Indians. “For ‘Iko Iko’ and ‘Hey Pocky Way,’ ” Porter said, “the rhythm came from tambourines and cowbells and bottles – whatever they could find to beat on.


Bounce music’s beat derives from sounds you hear in New Orleans second line.  Most Bounce music created the second line sound using a 808 drum machine. (Check out Netflix’s Hip Hop Evolution Episode 1{6:12-7:37})  Second line is a tradition at parades where people can  “follow the band to enjoy the music, dance, and engage in “community.”” Most of the beats in the second line consist of jazz from the brass band and the snare drummer. “The Second Line origins are from traditional West African circle or ring dances. The Second Line tradition was brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans, where it became a ritual for Africans in America, especially in various processions, including funerals”. The second line is an evolved tradition for African Americans and bounce music has further evolved this tradition. 

The first video are snippets of different call and responses from the people of New Orleans. The video shows three different people with three different songs and how deeply it has affected them and their culture. 

In the second video for the first 23 seconds demonstrates call and response. Bounce music requires active participation from its audience, both lyrically and physically”. (Big Freedia)


Jimi “DJ Jimi” Payton was a club DJ in the early 1990s. He worked out of a club called “Big Mans” and in 1992 was signed to Issac Bolden’s Soulin Records. While working under the label he recorded “(The Original) Where They At”. There was an original “Where dey at” song produced by DJ Irv, however, it was only released as “live, bootleg” version.  His song introduced chants such as “Shake that ass like a salt shaker” and “Put a hump in your back and shake your rump”. After licensing the song to Memphis Avenue Records, the song made Billboard charts. DJ Jimi then became labeled as the first artist to put out a chant-heavy and dance oriented bounce song.

Terius Gray, formerly known as Juvenile is one of the initial figures of bounce music. Juvenile was affiliated with a bounce group called U.N.L.V and first appeared on two DJ Jimi records. 1993 “It’s Jimi” and 1993 “Bounce (For the Juvenile)”. His first album Being Myself  was released however, bounce music at the time did not reach national audiences. Signing to a new label in 1997,Cash Money, Juvenile released another album that same year called Soulja Rags. He was featured on songs with artists such as Lil Wayne and B.G. Produced by Mamie Fresh, in 1998 Juvenile released his solo project 400 Degreez that featured the hit song “Back that Azz Up” featuring Lil Wayne. 10 years later in 2001, Juvenile would resign from Cash Money Records and form his own label UTP.

DJ Jubilee, born Jerome Temple grew up in St.Thomas projects of New Orleans. In 1982 he launched his DJ career and a year later he introduced the city to a new culture of “bounce” music. His first record was “Do the Jubilee All”. This record sold 230,000 copies and allowed him the opportunity to perform at the Bayou Classic. DJ Jubilee then released a four track collection of songs labeled, “Stop Pause”. He has been labeled the pioneer for the current dance phrase “Twerk”. Five years later, DJ Jubilees’ next record “Get Ready Get Ready” made billboard records as #7 on top 100.

Mia X’s rapping career began in Queens, New York though she was born and raised in New Orleans. Later in her life, she returned to the South, specifically New Orleans. Mia X’s hit record “Da Payback” is said to have sold 77,000 copies which caught the attention of Master P of No Limit Records. Mia X became the first woman rapper to be signed to this label. “Da Payback” flips the misogynistic and hypersexualized ideals and chants into an expression of girl power.

Queer Culture

Hip hop rap is one of the most homophobic cultures, but artists like Big Freedia, Sissy Nobby, Chev off the Ave, Vockah Redu, and Katey Red have become very popular artists. Queer Artists are celebrated in New Orleans, but it is hard for them to get outside exposure. The bounce artist, Katey Red, was the first queer bounce rapper began the sub-genre of “sissy-bounce”. Big Freedia, who is the most popular bounce artist, started out as one of her vocalists. One of the reasons that queer artists are accepted in New Orleans is because New Orleans’ “carnival culture”.

How Katrina Affected Bounce Music

Many New Orleanians used bounce music to voice their frustrations against government agencies such as FEMA and The Red Cross after Katrina. Bounce spread out of New Orleans during Katrina, when many artists such as Freedia were forced to relocate to state’s such as Alabma, Georgia, Mississippi, or other surrounding states. Big Freedia was quoted saying that after they were able to come back to New Orleans, she performed at a club called Caesars. They had a night called FEMA Fridays.

Fuck Katrina

My FEMA people

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