“Sissy Bounce” in New Orleans

Apparently, this shit is totally blowing up. I’d never heard of it until moving to New Orleans where, in my neighborhood at least, its completley unavoidable. Literally, Sissy Noby performed in front of my house for my neighbors sweet-sixteen party. Aside from that, it’s being played on the radio, out of peoples’ cars, and at every block party of the summer. In New Orleans, it’s pretty hard to miss. It’s also been around for years.

Now, national media is drawing some attention to the wonder that is New Orleans’ bounce music. The New York Times recently did an article on bounce music in New Orleans, specifically investigating “sissy bounce”, a sort of inadvertent subgenre of the music primarily performed by gay or transgender singers. One interesting point throughout the piece points to  the sexual empowerment provided to females during bounce events, the lyrical content being more suitable for women to identify with and the role of the gay or transgender performers being comforting to many women participating in the sets.

The music in itself is kind of phenomenal and the live sets something to behold. It’s versatility, like Big Freeida performing at Chaos in Tejas, is undeniable. One element of the music that is noteworthy is it’s total lack of marketability or, at least, the reluctance of major labels to embrace this music as commercially viable. Perhaps this will change with the continued exposure of some the New Orleans artists who have been doing this for a while now.

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