Drake's latest song "Nice For What" dropped last week, and as expected, it's already been breaking records and making waves on the internet for the viral video that accompanied the track. The song's music video has received hefty praise for spotlighting a huge cast of powerful women, but one woman who lent her voice to the opening of the song, did not end up being featured in the video.
Big Freedia, the New Orleans artist whose voice can be heard at the beginning of "Nice For What," recently told the Fader that she was ecstatic to get the call from Drake's people to be on the song. "Once they told me, I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me.' I was super excited about my voice being at the beginning of the song. They sent the track for me to approve it and I was like, 'Shit, I don't care what I say on it, long as I'm on it,'" she explained.
Fans and critics were quick to scrutinize the song's sound, noting the heavy influence of New Orleans bounce—which is where Freedia comes in. Despite others criticizing Drake's tendency to cherry-pick different sounds and styles, Freedia was grateful that bounce was getting the large-scale exposure from an artist as big as Drake.
"We're steady moving forward to get the bounce culture even further out there and, as you can see, other artists are recognizing our music and our talent down here in New Orleans," she told Fader. While exposure is definitely high on her list of hopeful outcomes, Freedia is not playing around when it comes to getting the recognition that's deserved.
"That's when I say the proper recognition and the proper credit. You know, my voice be on a lot of different stuff and people want to use bounce music as a part of their music but when it comes to the proper recognition of me being in the video, that's something that we're steady working towards to make it happen. The credits are important but, for me, it's still putting New Orleans on the map and I'm happy with the check," she explained.
While Drake is praised for supposedly entering his "woke" phase, he'd definitely benefit from treading lightly when it comes to sampling outside influences and giving proper credit. For artists like Big Freedia, the exposure from a collaboration with a major mainstream act is undeniable, but she hopes that New Orleans bounce will soon be able to stand on its own when compared to other popular music.
"One day we might get our category at these awards or on the charts. I've worked tremendously hard to make things happen for New Orleans culture. I just want us to get the proper recognition and the proper credit that we deserve."
In the meantime, you can support NOLA bounce by streaming Freedia's new single, "Rent" here.