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Big Freedia at L.A. PRIDE 6/12/16. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13)

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Until relatively recently, homosexuality and LBGT issues were not part of the hip hop dialogue. With Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit “Same Love” to Frank Ocean’s coming out, that discussion has moved more into the mainstream, with various voices impacting a cultural shift in the musical genre. Featured on the hip hop stage at  L.A. PRIDE is one today’s most vocal/public gay rappers, Big Freedia.

Big Freedia is one of the biggest names in bounce music: a genre of hip hop that was birthed in New Orleans and known for its hyper sexuality and manic breakbeats. Her popularity in the genre, and in hip hop generally, is manifest by her TV show “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” which is now entering its 5th season on the Fuse Channel.

Despite her taking the stage almost an hour late due to scheduling delays, her fans patiently waited to see their queen take the stage. Normally, as a photographer, if set times are running late at a stage at a music festival, I’ll usually opt out of shooting the set, but I had to see first hand what it was like to witness Big Freedia take, and command, the stage. Big Freedia did not disappoint.

Standing taller than 6 feet, with long pink hair,  Big Freedia and her crew of dancer gave a performance that forced the audience to twerk the night away. From the start, the energy of the performance was electric, and really on par  with a crazy club, dance party. As Big Freedia spit her trademark call-and-response verses relentlessly, her fans ate it up cheered her on.

I’ll admit that I left her performance halfway through insofar as I wanted to catch the tail end of another performance across the festival grounds, but if she was able to turn up the hype from how the performance started (I understand that she usually ends her show with fans on stage twerking to “Azz Everywhere”), I can only imagine that I missed out on some great photo ops.

Follow Big Freedia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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CLICK HERE for more L.A. PRIDE Coverage!