Bounce Baby Bounce: New Orleans’ Homegrown Hip-Hop Tour

Beginning in the early 1990s, New Orleans put its own spin on hip-hop. The style, called bounce, used the polyrhythms, call-and-response, and emphasis on dancing that had always characterized African-American music in the city.

Though bounce lyrics were hyper-local—often referencing specific New Orleans street corners and housing projects—the sound won fans all over the country. Cash Money Records, hatched in Central City, expanded into mainstream rap and reached the heights of the music industry. Its diminutive icon, Lil Wayne, left Gerttown to become a superstar. Post-Katrina, artists like Big Freedia have continued to move bodies around the world.

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