Earlier this summer, we shared an interview New Orleans bounce artist, Big Freedia, did with Huffington Post. In it, she shared that her feelings were a bit hurt not being included in Drake’s “Nice For What” or Beyoncé’s “Formation” videos even though both artists used her voice prominently in the songs.
“Of course, I feel like I should get more visibility. Who wouldn’t want to be in a Beyoncé or Drake video? But I mean, I’m just happy to be a part of those projects. It’s a starting point. It takes baby steps and it has been taking baby steps throughout my whole career.
I’m getting more recognition and, you know, everything is not always visual. I tell people all the time, “I may not be in the video, but as long as that check came, I’m good, I’m OK! I’m breaking barriers. I’m really one of the first out, gay artists to work with two of the most huge artists in the music industry. That’s a big accomplishment, you know? You may not see me visually but as long as you hear this voice. They gonna find out who I am one way or another. I’m pushing through regardless!”
So I was happy to see that Big Freedia made an appearance, albeit brief, in Drake’s latest video, “In My Feelings.” Set in New Orleans, it was all about the city’s culture. It would have been a mistake to leave her out again. Particularly when “In My Feelings,” also uses a Bounce sound—though Freedia is not featured on this particular track.
But just when people were beginning to applaud Drake for his inclusion, Freedia did another interview with TMZ, where she had to explain that she had to be the one to reach out to Drake to appear in the video.
“I decided to hit him up myself. I said, ‘Why didn’t you let me know you were in New Orleans?’ He was like, ‘I just got here. Why don’t you come here? We’re shooting the video tonight. I want you to get a few cameos.’ So I did that. I had to call my people at midnight to wake me up and do my hair. And I made it to the video shoot at about 2 am and we hung out till about 6 am. He didn’t want me to get off the mic. He wanted me to rock the mic and the crowd all night.
It wasn’t no real apology because I guess he felt like you didn’t make ‘Nice For What’ but that’s why I made sure that I responded as soon as you hit me up so you could be ‘In My Feelings’ in that video.
It’s definitely a stepping in the right direction and I think that other artists out there, should feel the same way. That no matter what your background is, no matter if you’re a gay artist, we can be able to be there just as anyone else.”
Big Freedia doesn’t seem to take issue with having to reach out to Drake. Personally, I wouldn’t go that far. She’s right. It’s a step in the right direction but it’s a shame that she had to be the one to reach out, when he was in her city, utilizing an art form she helped to bring to the mainstream. Hopefully, Drake and other artists will be more mindful in the future.
See what other people had to say about the situation. The response varied from appreciation to disappointment.