August 29, 2017


Big Freedia & Mannie Fresh Talk Twerk-Friendly 'Dive' Collaboration & How to Bounce Back

Big Freedia and Mannie Fresh are preparing to kick off this fall music season as well as Season 6 of Freedia's hit Fuse series Big Freedia Bounces Back with their new collaboration "Dive." The two New Orleans mainstays teamed together for the energetic track, which is featured on their The Bounce Back collaborative mixtape/playlist (out next week), that is the perfect addition to your next playlist party.

Fuse caught up with both Freedia and Mannie Fresh to get more insight on the birth of "Dive," as well as if the producer is ready to drop new music. Keep reading below to see what Freedia had to say about the upcoming season of Bounces Back.

FUSE: “Dive” is such a party anthem! What the vibe was like in the studio working on the song?
Mannie Fresh: Yeah! I think all of the songs I’ve done with Freedia has just been a good vibe. We’ve been in party mode for all the songs. This one kind of came with me having an idea of, “Well what if I do a song where you were answering every rhyme that I was doing?” Just something different. I pretty much freestyled it and then I went back and asked Freedia to fill in a little of the rhyme parts. It’s a real cool ass song to me, just like you said.

Big Freedia: We were coming up with all different ideas for the new project that me and Mannie have, and “Dive” just came in the picture.

You guys have worked together so many times in the past. But was it different working on this song?
MF: No because every time we get together it’s like working with family. It’s just a fun environment. The best songs are when they don’t come across as forced. It was just us sitting down coming up with a song, there were drinks and all kinds of stuff going on! And I think that’s the way the song is projected, that’s the vibe that it’ll give people.

BF: It was a little bit different because it was more intense. We were at a studio that was way more chill and we also worked at his house. Each time we started recording, the vibe just kept getting stronger and stronger both in the studio and on the music side.

You both are from New Orleans and represent the city hard. How does that connection help when you’re recording together?
BF Oh most definitely, because we know what we want to bring to the world.

MF: It’s like I said, it’s that family environment. And vice-versa, just being fans of each other. I love what Freedia is doing and she feels the same way about me. So it’s like working with somebody you’ve been wanting to work with. Bounce is my thing, you already know. It started with me. So to see somebody else bring it to another level…of course I wanna work with them.

And obviously NOLA is known for bounce music, but how do you think it can become even more mainstream?
MF: That’s what I’m doing with Freedia. I was like “How do we cross this over to the world?” I think that’s where I come in for that. It’s so raw in New Orleans, but they get it. But a lot of times others don’t because it’s just a beat and a MC. So I’m the guy who puts some music on it and sequence it in a way where the world gon’ get it. Where I could turn it into a “Back That Azz Up,” because that’s the original twerk song that went viral. That’s my receipt and that’s my little part that I want to do with Freedia. There’s nothing wrong with having mainstream songs on the radio, but there’s a science in making everybody else understand it.

BF: We’re expanding the sound. I’m always trying new things and opening my mind to new ideas for the music. I think “Dive” will take us in that right direction to keep growing bounce music even further. Mannie Fresh started way back in helping create songs that are bounce, so he knows how to mix those elements.

Can we expect you to pop up in this new season, Mannie? Because you had a cameo in Season 5.
MF: I’m more than sure that I will. And plus we got a hot ass mixtape coming together that Freedia’s hosting with me DJ’ing. Usually the world doesn’t hear me DJ on a mixtape, but New Orleans has before.

Are there any other themes on the mixtape besides the twerk and party songs?
MF: The theme is me twerking out these songs where you’re like, “Oh I didn’t know they could do it like that!” Like I took a Janet Jackson song and put our beat behind it. There’s a lot of songs that you wouldn’t think of. Nas’ “If I Rule The World” is on it, “All About the Benjamins” is on it…these are songs that you wouldn’t think someone would put a New Orleans twist to it.

For people who aren’t familiar with the twerk and bounce genres, how do you think they’re going to react to the new music?
BF: They’re probably gonna be like, “I can’t believe it’s Freedia but I love it!”

MF: I think they’re gonna love it! The cool thing is the world is ready for something new. It’s been around for forever but it wasn’t thrown to the masses, which is what I’m trying to do. New Orleans and little small places down south love it, and if you get up top they want you do to a bounce set. But they only know a few songs. To us it’s bounce, it’s not twerk. That’s a mainstream thing that somebody put a name on it. So I think bounce music will have its own category.

Big Freedia: Erika Goldring/Getty Images; Mannie Fresh: Josh Brasted/WireImage
Big Freedia: Erika Goldring/Getty Images; Mannie Fresh: Josh Brasted/WireImage

Speaking of mainstream music, what are your thoughts on the current state of hip-hop Mannie? We’re going through a trap phase right now.
MF: I’m a fan of that, but I still want to see something new. I am 808, that’s Mannie Fresh. Don’t get me wrong, I love trap music. But I grew up in an era where you had different styles of rap music—and that’s what I miss. I miss the west coast sound, the east coast sound, the positive rapper, the gangsta rap. It’s kind of one-dimensional right now. I’m saying the masses is that way. You gotta dig if you want to find something underground. You’re not gonna hear that on the radio. I wish there were other songs like J. Cole or Kendrick [Lamar] have. A lot of artists are like that, but they don’t get that play.

The last album you released was Return of the Ballin’ in 2009.
MF: I had to go back to DJ’ing and thank god I did because it made me fall in love with music again. I had to press reset and figure out what’s going on in the club and start interacting with the younger generation. Just me going into reset mode was the best thing that could happen, so now I’m ready to put some music out.

Freedia, are you working with anyone else at the moment?
BF: Yeah I have a few other producers that I’m working with on my own projects. I’m always working with Black & Mild, and also Chevis Brimmer and Americano.

You had the huge Beyoncé collaboration last year, but who else would you like to work with?
BF: Definitely! I want to do something with Lil KimRihannaDrakeNicki Minaj…there’s so many more. There’s tons of great artists out there who I want to collaborate with.

We’re all excited about the new season of Big Freedia Bounces Back! How have you grown from last season?
BF: Oh my god, in so many ways. I’ve just grown on every level: emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally. With the growth of everything I’ve learned so much throughout this season. Just with my business mind and my networking and learning how to handle situations. Through good times and through pain and suffering. I’ve just learned how to build and adapt to everything with a better perspective throughout each season. It’s making me become more of a boss bitch each year!

How will this season be different from Season 5?
BF: Well I’m being more of a boss doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m expanding in so many different areas that you will see. I’ve had five seasons already, so this is a blessing to still be on TV and have so many people demand to keep it on TV and to want to see what’s going on in my life. I’m super excited about this season. There’s a lot of good changes. It’s gonna be juicy.

What do you think the viewers are going to be most excited about?
BF: Just the adventures that I’m taking. I’m doing a lot more this season. I can’t give away too much, but adventures in every aspect of myself and of my team. They will see that when they watch this new season.

Click here to watch the new season trailer for Big Freedia Bounces Back, starting Tuesday, September 12 at 10PM. Find Fuse with our channel finder. Plus, prep for the new season by watching full episodes of past seasons on the Fuse TV app for mobile, Roku and Apple TV, or streaming now on Hulu.

Next, check out the explosive trailer for Freedia's all-new season: