Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Big Freedia – Rent

So, uh, about that covering more Freedia than Drake thing…


Nortey Dowuona: Ferocious, banging guitar riffs. Swinging, bouncy and sharp drums. Bubbling, trippy percussion. Big, soulful chorus. Fantastic, authoritative raps. Big Freedia is the greatest. Every landlord should make this their theme song. Nice for what?

Katherine St Asaph: What do arena rock and New Orleans bounce have in common? A) Both genres are larger and louder than life, and brazenly populist. B) Big Freedia now, apparently? The combination works better than you might expect, but mostly because it doesn’t dilute too much the FREEDIA FORMULA (repeat 64x)

Edward Okulicz: This blends a couple of Freedia’s skills and trademarks to excellent effect: you’ve got rapidly-cut syllables in the verses whose very sounds exhort you to dance (even if the lyrics aren’t about dancing), and you’ve got a big shout-along chorus. The whole thing screams “crowd involvement” and would certainly sound best in a crowded Freedia gig with ass everywhere, but it’s noisy and invigorating enough on headphones too. Infinite charisma meets intimidating volume, and lots of fun.

Alfred Soto: Flexing the arena rock instincts of Ice Cube and Jay-Z in “99 Problems,” Big Freedia is hard to resist whether she’s belting, singing, or rebuking. The ebullience is unnerving. 

Ryo Miyauchi: Big Freedia’s awareness here of pop structure — chorus, bridges, and stuff of that nature — is a welcome twist to her usual anthems, but it has yet to qualify a need that going “pop” is a necessary phase for her beloved New Orleans bounce. The more traditional aspects of this song are great enough, especially the tune-up of its old-school spirit via cross-mingling of arena-metal samples with hip-hop breaks. It can succeed without it being a proper pop song, but it’s a nice gesture.

Will Adams: It’s not unusual for a rapper to give her all on the verses and let the chorus be more of an afterthought, but after Big Freedia’s powerhouse bars the sudden turn toward standard pop brashness feels unnecessary. Especially when the “TALKIN TALKIN TALKIN/YADDA YADDA YADDA” hook would have sufficed.

Iain Mew: The opening freight train burst of words can be taken for granted at this point, but “Rent” does more than that. Freedia’s humour and sense of timing is superb, demonstrated best through how much anticipation and joy she manages to work into the set up and pause of “with all that…” before the hook crashes back in. 

Reader average: [8.66] (3 votes)

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