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It’s been a tough year, not just for us but for Queen of Bounce Big Freedia as well. Though the New Orleans-based Sissy Bounce musician started off with an appearance and vocal track in Beyoncé’s “Formation”, in early March, she got charged with theft of government funds. She resolved it, but for the rest of the year… well, we’ve all lived through the shooting of 220 (and counting) Black citizens by police and the election of a man who has promised to extend New York’s racist “Stop and Frisk” policy to urban neighborhoods across the country.
So it makes sense that Freedia and her friends would blow off some end-of-year steam by making a holiday album that kisses off your conventional conservative Christmas hits with modern interpretations full of shade, sass and lots of ass.
The album, A Very Big Freedia Christmazz, is a five-track EP that starts with “Rudy, The Big Booty Reindeer”, a modern take on “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer”, whose opening lyrics spoof the original:
“Rudy, The Big Booty Reindeer
had a very large behind
and if you saw it jiggle
it would really blow your mind.
All of the other reindeers
tried to make him feel ashamed.
They would look down on Rudy
just cuz he wasn’t the same.
Then one froggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say,
‘Rudy, all you do is work.
Won’t you show me how to twerk?’
Then all the other reindeers
realized that they were stressed out.
Rudy, The Big Booty Reindeer
taught them all how to bounce.”
After the familiar intro, Big Freedia brings in her usual brand of Bounce, rhyming “Rudy” and “booty” to a high-energy beat that’ll make listeners twerk off those Christmas calories.
The entire album skewers the G-rated nicey-niceness of holiday hits to deliver cunty carols that speak to the cool iciness queers actually experience during the winter. In the album’s second track, “So Frosty”, Freedia sings the following insult to the tune of “The Nutcracker Suite”… :
“How about you
go back to
Honey, I’m through.
You’re a frosty bitch.”
… before repeatedly asking the song’s subject, “You got a problem? Why so frosty? Who you hatin’ on? Why so frosty?”
But(t) while the booty shaking continues through the repetitive and thankfully short “Jingle Bell Rock”, the album slows down and takes a more pointed political tone in “’Twas the Night”, when Freedia reveals her real motive for making the album: lifting spirits and bringing people together, especially after enduring political abuses like Republican President George W. Bush’s atrocious mishandling of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina:
’til the days grew short and December came
still trimmed the tree, but didn’t feel the same.
We lost it all, so we had to shake it
because once you got that beat, nobody can take it.
Why, I’ve seen fire, flood and drought
seen people die, heard shots ring out.
But still I knew without a doubt
that I was born to make ‘em bounce.
Because I’ve seen music change the crowd.
See, people get up by getting down.”
In short, whether you’ve been naughty or nice, the politicians ain’t bringing you shit this year. So you might as well be nice at being naughty, something Freedia does with pleasure as she ends her album with “Santa is a Gay Man”, her take on “Mr. Sandman”, which isn’t really a Christmas tune, but turns into a sexy wintertime wish flowing from her lusty lips:
“Santa, all that white hair
you feel so scruffy — my own polar bear!
I’d love to grab a hold of that belly
and make it jiggle like a bowl of KY Jelly.
Santa, jingle them balls!
I want a Santa who’s big, Black and tall.
I want to get inside of that bag.
Maybe Santa is a Black fag!”
Considering the recent reports of racist Minnesotans freaking out over the first Black Santa at the Mall of America, the idea of Santa being a Black fag is the shiny piece of coal that Freedia has dropped into America’s stockings. Look hard enough and you just might see your own reflection.