On major holidays, most of America spends its night in, digesting a festive meal and interacting with loved ones at varying degrees of awkwardness. Not so in New Orleans — at least, not for bounce music fans, for whom Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Easter and so on usually bring late-night club revues to shake the stuffing right off your hips. Remixing or remaking pop hits with a bounce beat is a perennially booming industry in the city, and Christmas music is no exception; the weatherman says New Orleans will get close to 75 degrees this Dec. 25, plenty warm enough for your tinsel-trimmed booty shorts. And with ace timing, hometown hero Big Freedia has stuffed stockings everywhere with fresh beats: The rapper's first holiday album puts the azz in Christmazz.
With the new holiday classic "Rudy, The Big Booty Reindeer," Freedia reimagines the redemptive tale of the outcast reindeer with a hyperactive beat and a twist in the narrative: Instead of a bright nose, it's his thick behind that turns out to be Rudy's greatest, uh, asset. Chiming bells ornament an opening verse from New Orleans R&B singer and rapper Ms. Tee, a first-generation signee to Cash Money Records. That's followed by Freedia's pummeling shout — "Rudy only wanted a good time / Rudy only wanted to dance / He sneaked off and listened to Freedia / Whenever he had the chance" — plus a percussive refrain that makes solid use of the fact that Rudy rhymes with booty. Santa and the elves are stressed, and Rudy teaches them how to work it out on the dance floor.
With its overarching message — that your oddest qualities might be the things that make you the most fabulous — it's a perfect holiday tale for the sui generis talent Big Freedia, who has, after all, risen high by shaking to the beat of her own drum machine. We need a Rankin/Bass (or would that be BAZZ?) claymation holiday special based on this song, stat.
A Very Big Freedia Christmazz is out now via iTunes.