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Culture,  hip-hop,  Memoir,  New Orleans,  rap,  Tourist

New Orleans Bounce Music and Gentrification.. I didn’t realize the colonizers want everything New Orleans Culture for themselves

Prior to the Drake “In my feelings” video was released, he was spotted filming in my neighborhood and NOLA social media was ablaze and I joined in. There were numerous of us concerned with how his staff and police handled the situation. Here’s a comment I wrote on someone’s post on July 24th. Please read below. ⬇️

Photo credit by Denise Petski

“I seriously think this is just to make good on not including Freedia in the last video, but let’s hope Freedia is featured throughout the entire video. Ish I hope Freedia is Keke. I have found that several wealthy folks from developers to producers come to New Orleans to capitalize off our culture and our talent. If anyone needs to shoot a video here it needs to be a NOLA artist. I also feel that New Orleanians need to profit off the tourism just as the big wigs do. Drake and his people came smack dead in the area that’s seriously affected by gentrification and there has been no word if he donated to any charities, sat with some kids or spoke on what’s going on in the very community he was in. The locals fans who came to acknowledge him were told they couldn’t take pictures or videos, the consequences were tickets, fines I was told. We cant take pics 🤷🏿‍♀️🤦🏿‍♀️ He in our hood..”

I would find out that Big Freedia wasn’t Keke, not that I really thought she would be, but I envisioned her part to be just that big. Freedia was featured in the video by way of what they call a cameo appearance and a very short appearance at that. I was just about to call it a night and something made me check my inbox and I swear I felt my blood pressure rise as I read the headline from TMZ.

TMZ spoke to Big Freedia and she states in the article “I hit up Drake 1st for In my feelings…but I still appreciate him.” Hmmm, Freedia appreciates Drake? Freedia is being Nice for What?? I hope its a vault full of coins she can swim around in. I’m offended and mad how he did our culture and Freedia, plus the comments on the feed post added to my anger. “Who is that, why would he put a trans on his video, he wasn’t in the song, that’s someone from New Orleans” and the list goes on. I had to comment, but I was nice ” If you do not know who Big Freedia is Google Big Freedia” and you’ll find out Hanna Montana didn’t invent Twerking…

Hmmmm I was accepting at first, I just knew Drake appreciated what Freedia brought to his music, but it sounds like he put Freedia on and his fans may have influenced why he didn’t not contact Freedia. Someone had to have called Freedia to do the vocals, that person couldn’t have called to say “Hey, Drake will be in New Orleans on such and such date, we would like for you to suggest a restaurant so we could do lunch with you in your city?? Maybe, I’m a traditional southern woman with compassion for others, but I would have made sure to extend at least a phone call. If by chance Freedia could not be in the video at least use come courtesy to let a person, that person being Big Freedia whom you did business with, let them know you are in their town especially a city such as New Orleans. It’s just the right thing to do, common courtesy. I’ll go deeper as to why..

So, I heard and saw the words come from Freedia’s lips and in an instant my feelings before TMZ are out the window.. It may be me, but Freedia looked to be in her feelings too, she looked hurt. Ya, eyes don’t lie.

Please click the link below to get your own feelings of the situation. ⬇️

http://m.tmz.com/#!2018/08/05/big-freedia-reached-out-to-drake-in-my-feelings-music-video-lgbt

Reading the TMZ article and as you know TMZ is known for the juiciest of Celebrity Gossip Truth, I came to the conclusion that the people of New Orleans were right with the feelings they expressed while Drake was here. I knew I smelled something fishy while Drake was in town and it wasn’t the smell of the Mississippi. But, hey I know nothing regarding the business end of the music industry and it wasn’t my business.

But per TMZ and Big Freedia via video you will hear that our New Orleans own Big Freedia had to reach out to Drake herself, on the same night as the video shoot. Not only that Freedia and her krewe had to do a fashion slay & beat their faces in a flash of time as the clock struck midnight. Yes, you can go out in New Orleans at midnight, the party will still jump til the sun comes up, but this was for a video that would be seen all over the world….That’s was not cool, but Freedia’s words at least expresses her content.I just can’t believe it. Please tell me it isn’t soooo. Drake nor his producer couldn’t have treated our Queen Diva as a mere extra.

Plus, I do not understand why she had to call him… Did the others in thr video place a call??? I don’t think so…Phylicia Rashad and Lala Anthony didn’t stick their heads out a mansion window to tell some fool to get off her lawn at the last minute and neither should Big Freedia..They were picked and contacted months ago. They were treated as professionals whom his team thought could make the “In my feelings” video a success, but karma always comes back to knock on your door.

Speaking of that, who cast them to represent a NOLA mother and daughter?? Or maybe they weren’t supposed to represent NOLA women?? Idk

I do not care who your are, its common practice to contact your people to let them know you will be in town, espcially when visiting New Orleans. Who wouldn’t want to connect with a friend who’s a native of New Orleans, we know the city better than any travel guide?? There are times when you can’t see some people while in town, but at least let that person know you’re in our city… Not contacting a New Orleanian is a major violation. I’m pretty sure that Drake wouldn’t have been in New Orleans had it not been for Big Freedia. Why else did he film here? Seriously, just for the scenery?? No, he wanted that NOLA Bounce feel to come through the screen.

Freedia is the hit to the song and you mean to tell me she had to call him and didn’t get, but a cameo??? NOOOOO, BIG FREEDIA didn’t call Drake while he was not only visiting our city, but filming here! Yassss, I’m pissed off people and I’m sorry ya’ll have to see me like this, but right now I’m in my damn feelings! Don’t do my people wrong, they have endured and survived the worst life experiences.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156573273363784&id=681668783

After recently posting a comment, my views, on someone’s Instagram post, yes it was on all the social media sites, about the lack of Big Freedia in the video and their hope for Freedia to get recognition, Freedia replied on the lines of “God got me.” And just like that I came to accept her wishes and said my piece and left my ranting to the winds about anything Big Freedia and Drake, only because of her statement. As you see it didn’t last long…lol

Big Freedia states she’s “Appreciates him” apparently she’s good with how things went down. Freedia told TMZ “She says Drake including her — regardless of who hit who up first — is a big step forward for the LGBTQ community.” I respect that, I don’t understand, but she’s good and so am I to an extent.

It’s my opinion, but I feel Freedia did not receive adequate credit for her talent and her contribution to his music. Big Freedia is more than a voice, she brings it to the stage, Freedia is a great Preformer and fans all over the world engaged when she performs. Not only that Freedia has people you would never imagine get on stage and interact, dance, try their best at twerking with her, she has a huge fan base that loves her all over the world too. That’s what this entire artistry is about making the people have fun, enjoy themselves, feel free and alive and Freedia brings that.

To add insult to the injury Drake and his krewe came into our city, contributing to gentrification, making a mockery of our accent and culture.

I’ll start with the horrible, lacklustre acting and New Orleans accents. The professional world does not embrace our dialects as tourist do, especially when we move or visit other states. Employers make it really hard on us, state we aren’t speaking proper English and will go to the lengths to get our Jamaican talking behinds fired..From Uptown to the 9th Ward and all over New Orleans we all sound different…Please ya’ll take an acting class taught by a New Orleanian instructor, before you slander our dialect especially on camera….. Drake preformance didnt not reflect a New Orleans persona, not even a NOLA hood persona..

I’m not sure who lied to Drake, but NOLA Men do not where grills or cheese all like that, especially not a Man, maybe a teenager, but definitely not a NOLA Man. Ok, you have $14K teeth in your mouth, go around others with that BS in their mouths, maybe they can appreciate it. So, may New Orleanians wish they had money to remove the gold teeth from their mouths, because employers have discriminated them for being slugged up and refused to hire them. The thing that’s in is veneers…

Secondly, we do not sit down and eat our poboys at Gene’s. The only sitting down we do is waiting on our food to get done, then we might go home or on the lake, but I do not ever remember that sit down scene at Gene’s.

Let us do us, we are New Orleans, we are authentic, orginal and NOLA is in our blood, in our soul, there’s no way to duplicate us. If by chance the need comes up again for someone needs to portray a New Orleanian, I highly suggest you hire a new Orleanian, especially when filming in our city. If anything Drake should have played himself and one of his boys, the one driving him around, like really what NOLA bum axx man brings another man tohids girl house…But he he should have had the driver play the role of his friend who’s a New Orleans Native and he could have hooked him up with his cousin Keke or something. Then again Keke behind wasn’t a native, neither the Mom, maybe they were visiting.. I don’t know, but I want to know, why? Why and who wrote the script, directed the video?I really want to meet him or her?? Apparently, they didn’t want Freedia in it and they didn’t want New Orleanians in it as far as I can see. There’s several talented natives here who could have made that video so life like, it could have been all things NOLA Life…

Please people learn our culture and learn it from our people, a New Orleanian.

Credit of Reggie Ford, Nola Artist

I’m not entirely sure, but its rumored that Drake’s people had signs up stating no photos and if someone was caught taking a picture while he was filming in a public space they would be given a ticket?? As I mentioned it could be pure gossip, but I have asked my sources and it seems to be legit so far.

Photo credit of Reggie Ford, Nola Artist

Being a native, born and raised in New Orleans who actually left for some years I can understand that intoxicating feeling that one experiences in New Orleans. When one is not born here, if your family didn’t work hard to make this city what it is then one can’t understand that it’s not merely a feeling, but a lifestyle, a soultie.

New Orleans has a spirit and it lives within us and those of you who come here will feel it, but you won’t have that deep connection with the actual soil, the water, the people, the breeze that blows in our humid air. You will not want to fight to keep our culture in tack.

This is why I feel so deeply about outsiders coming into the city taking and laying claim on whats ours.

The world sees New Orleans is hott right now, we are the #1 Travel destination this year and some want to profit off that, off us and Drake fell right in line with the outsider world. Yes, there are tourists who come here and fall in love with the city, I’m not speaking on them, but the colonizers, wealthy businessmen and people who swooped up all the cheap properties and flipped them into Airbnbs. Do you all realize the houses you brought for the low were homes destroyed by Katrina? A family is displaced, living outside of their hometown, because people like you jumped on the results of trauma and heartbreak of Katrina. Do ya’ll think of the families who used to occupy your New New Orleans $280K not so much of a shotgun house? Where are the people who lost everything to Katrina, the majority were poor, but you are content with the lil FEMA money they were given. How long would $10k last you after you lost everything, even your memorabilia?? But we have a millionaire hiphop artisr flashing his $14k grill in a gentrified neighborhood…..smh

I wonder if Drake took the time to drive through very community he filmed in?? Does he and his people knows that the neighborhood he was in was once only referred by 7th and 8th Ward and now it has been renamed the Marigny and Bywater area, which has been affected by gentrification the most? I wonder if Drake noticed that our brown faces were slim to none in that community he were in.

Photo credit of Reggie Ford, NOLA Artist

Did Gene’s PoBoy tell his crew that his business is still up and running, because of the black New Orleanians who no longer live in that community, but drive, catch the bus and walk to patronize him? Did Drake finally take a moment to flash his $14k Grill with the hundreds of fans who were intimidated to take pictures to of you, because they couldn’t afford the fine?

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156573273363784&id=681668783

I’m pretty sure his people, producers called someone, because the spots he filmed in are mostly known by the black community. From what I read, the newspapers, tourists, new transplants and magazines are asking where the Lil Wayne mural is. I wonder why Drake didn’t take a picture or film in front of Big Freedia’s mural which is one block away from Gene’s? If he didn’t want Freedia in the video why not spotlight her mural? Lil Wayne had nothing to do with the song, right, please tell me if im wrong.?

Located on St.Claude and Elysian Fields

All I can say is shame on Drake on his failed attempt to make up for the previous video. Sorry, you failed again, Boo or Papi or whatever they call you. It’s just my opinion, but You treated one of our own NOLA artist who we love and support without compassion, respect and if yall d not have a friendship, there is a business relationship and that was neglected as well. You and your people at least owed it to Freedia to at least send a memo, a call, text when it was first established the video would be filmed in her home town. The major offense in my eyes was not giving Freedia an adequate part that was worthy of her talent and seeing her bring it to your video would have made New Orleans proud and happy for her. But that’s the key word is “Drake’s video” as your fans state.

If I can add, I actually liked the “what’s your net worth” chick is on the song. That girl group is from Miami… She had a huge part/scene..Why Big Freedia couldn’t have done that part?? I’m pretty sure she would have had flames coming out the screen. She would have laid a fire axx track…but the very person who is in your song and is everything New Orleans. Big Freedia is New Orleans Bounce and ya’ll know that was a 5 second shot of her like she was a damn extra. Let me stop she said, she appreciates him…

Another thing, I hope Morrow’s didn’t name that Catfish Crawfish Pasta after you and there’s not a Big Freedia meal on that menu….let’s just pray we dont treat our native New Orleanian artist as the outsiders do.

Seriously, what is going on?? I really want to know why? Why Big Freedia keeps getting sidelined on your videos, but you want her sound? Is there some type of discrimination going on? It’s 2018 and LGBTQ has a fan base and support from heterosexual couples that you think you blew up, just imagine getting their backing…Drake and his crew seems to prefer the LGBTQ community in the closet, behind the curtain and to unseen, but that’s just my opinion. I don’t have the facts yet, but the actions show there’s definitely something going on.

Are we selling our culture or what? Yes, we are some loving and forgiving people, but we’re the same people who can’t afford to live in our own city that our ancestors built, slaved for and loved, but others can, have and will remove us from our city, our communities and homes. This is our city and people come here, use us and we’re suppose to appreciate the crumbs of leftover food they throw our way. What is wrong with us?? Have we given up on our family legacy?

I’m mad, hurt and pissed off, this feels like gentrification smack across our faces, by someone in the industry who could help stop it! I really hope they paid Freedia and paid Big with like seven zeros behind it! This is the second time and I hope Freedia sees her worth to the music industry and hold true to the hashtag #ForTheCulture. But once again she did give a statement and I’ll quote her from the FADER in April, “The credits are important but, for me, it’s still putting New Orleans on the map and I’m happy with the check.” So, let Freedia do Freedia and I’m gonna do me a Blog my feelings lol, Freedia good, I’m just getting my feet wet.

On another note and this is from my heart… We can’t keep letting outsiders use us, they want what we have! That means we are valuable to them!

New Orleans, gentrification is so real that hiphop is using us now…..🤷🏿‍♀️🤬⚜

This isn’t about Big Freedia and Drake to me, but their situation is proof how the minority is treated in New Orleans, we are to be unseen and appreciative to where the powers that be place us and that is to live outside of New Orleans, but come and work the city.. What do you give us after we poured our blood, sweat and tears into what is rightfully ours? Our ancestors paved the way, like literally paved the cobblestone streets of New Orleans and not only do we deserve the spotlight on us, but rights to all profits, shares, land, everything in New Orleans we are due everything that others make a profit from off our backs. New Orleanians deserve to profit off New Orleans more than anyone else. The tourism brings in millions, if not billions and the hospitality workers make $7.50/hr and waitstaff is $2.50/hr and they are told to depend on tips..The hospitality workers, the people of New Orleans are the Ambassadors to New Orleans and we make sure to show our tourist a good time while they are here. So, good of a time, yall come back over and over again. The tourist are not greet by the millionaire and restaurant owner yall are treated and greeted like royalty by New Orleanians.

I’m gonna say this in response to Big Freedia feeling “Appreciative” to Drake… New Orleanians deserve a show of thanks and appreciation. We need people who come here to show us how much they appreciate our culture and how hard we work to ensure they have a good time.

New Orleans is ours and ya’ll come here for us, the people of New Orleans make New Orleans what it is. If it was any other way, ya’ll wouldn’t come here, nor desire to embody everything we are.

We are New Orleans, We are the culture and we don’t mind sharing with ya’ll, but stop taking from us, stop trying changing our culture, stop plotting to turn our city to your perfect getaway, please.

As I always tell ya’ll, I don’t like quail egg Gumbo, I love traditional New Orleans Gumbo and I know yall do too. And by Gumbo Im not merely speaking of our recipe, but our culture. If outside influences continually come into New Orleans with their ideals of how to change, well they claim to make a New New Orleans without the insight, opinion and voice of the natives/locals, New Orleans will look just like Drake’s “In my feelings ” video a knock off New Orleans and a watery pot of Gumbo.

Nola Chic

Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul.  He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home,  myself, my New Orleans. I'm here and I'm loving it. Even being in the so called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up! I'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...

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