If you don't know who Big Freedia is, you should: She's one of the key artists and originators of the New Orleans bounce scene, which involves a lot—a lot—of ass-shaking and Twerking. Much of the Twerking craze of late can be traced to the rising popularity of New Orleans's bounce scene over the last five years. And someone at Fuse TV was smart enough to ask Big Freedia what she thought of Miley Cyrus's performance.
Quote the Queen, on Miley:
"She's trying to twerk, but don't know how to twerk. It's become offensive to a lot of people who've been twerking and shaking their asses for years, especially in the black culture. But it's also helpful because it's putting twerking on the map around the world."
Freedia also responded to whether or not she was offended by Miley's act:
"[It's offensive] in general; not to me. She may be familiar with me, but she don't know I'm the Queen of Twerking. But it's offensive to black culture and black women who've been twerking for years. Every time we do something, people want to snatch it and run with it and put their name on it. And they still don't even have the moves down yet. Just get me and Miley together so I could give her ass some lessons...
Finally, on whether or not it's fair to call Miley's VMA performance a "minstrel show":
Most definitely. It should've been someone else having those dancers up there and not Miley. We want to empower women of all walks of life to express themselves through dance music."
The Queen has spoken. For more on Big Freedia, The New York Times Magazine ran a fantastic profile on Freedia, Katy Red, and the rest of the New Orleans bounce scene that's well worth reading. And here's a video of Freedia in action:
That is what the thing that Miley is actually trying to do looks like when someone who knows what they're doing is actually doing it.