Thursday | August 22, 2019


When Drake released his smash hit ‘Nice For What’ back in 2018, he probably didn’t realise how it would help bring about a renewed interest in a genre that’s been in the making for only the past thirty years or so.

Unbeknownst to many, the track features “bounce king” 5th Ward Weebie, who was brought in by Drake’s crew to add his cultural expertise to the song – Weebie noted in an interview how he had “never experienced or heard any artist outside of New Orleans get the bounce element right besides this one.”

Bounce music has always struggled to establish a mainstream presence but thanks to the efforts of artists such as Drake, N.E.R.D and Beyoncé, the genre seems to be having its moments in the spotlight.

Reflecting the narrative experiences of those residing in New Orleans’ housing projects, bounce at once may seem like an offshoot of hip-hop. But its story is far more complex than that.

Blurring the lines between a diverse set of genres such as jazz, R&B, funk and brass band, bounce is characterized by repetitive sequences, distinctive dance moves (twerking being one of them!) and an overall feel-good vibe which is deeply engrained in the city’s identity.

This is why nightclubs and block parties quickly embraced the dynamic sounds emerging from the streets of New Orleans – much to the disdain of music critics in the city who were more eager to establish a more ‘serious’ rap culture.

While bounce has struggled to move beyond the regional level, this seemingly big drawback has worked in favor of the city’s local talent with only a handful of producers releasing a majority of the music released in the past two decades.

Even today, artists and producers are faced with the challenge of representing the genre to the world in its truest form, or even getting credited for their work outside of New Orleans.

But in terms of progression, it is safe to say that bounce will always maintain its authenticity without ever losing its New Orleans’ charm.

Article published: 22nd August, 2019


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