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Bounce music

Bounce music is an energetic style of New Orleans hip hop music which is said to have originated as early as the late 1980s.[1]


  • Structure 1
  • History 2
  • Influence 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


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] Typical of bounce music is the "shouting out" of or acknowledgment of geographical areas, neighborhoods and housing projects, particularly of the State of Louisiana and, to a lesser extent, Texas.[4]


As hip-hop started to spread outward from its birthplace 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 genres tried their hand at 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,”[5] two characteristics which came to signify Bounce music. The subgenre 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, led 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.”[6]


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, giving bounce music a significant degree of overlap with LGBT hip hop.[7][8]

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.[9] 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.[10] Another significant mainstream record influenced by bounce music was Beyoncé's 2007 release "Get Me Bodied".[11]

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.[11]

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.[12] Bounce music also became popular in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[13]


  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. ^ Dee, Jonathan (22 July 2010). "New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap".  
  5. ^ Miller, Matt (2012). Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 
  6. ^ Miller, Matt (2012). Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 
  7. ^ McDonnell, John (29 September 2008). "'"Scene and heard: Bounce and 'sissy rap. The Guardian (London). 
  8. ^ Dee, Jonathan (22 July 2010). "New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap".  
  9. ^ Carmichael, Rodney (16 July 2008). "David Banner: Power moves". Creative Loafing. 
  10. ^ "About DJ Paul". MTV. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Spera, Keith (19 July 2010). "Ogden exhibit chronicles the originators of New Orleans 'bounce' rap". Times-Picayune.
  12. ^ Walker, Dave (15 May 2011). "NOLA hip-hop explained: 'Treme' music consultant Alison Fensterstock breaks down bounce music". Times-Picayune.
  13. ^ Walker, Dave (15 May 2011). "Hurricane Katrina: New Orleans Bounce Music in Houston". Times-Picayune.

External links

  • Fensterstock, Alison (1 December 2012). "Sissy Bounce Rap from New Orleans". Norient.
  • Trailer for Punks Under Pressure, a documentary featuring Sissy Bounce, starring Katey Red, Big Freedia, and Sissy Nobby, Fly Boi Blazyah and Rusty Lazer.
  • documentaryYa Heard Me Bounce, co-produced by It's All Good In The Hood TV, John and Glenda Robert
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