Big Freedia is coming to High Dive tonight with all of the hype and booty shaking that fans know and love.
Local artists Hugo $anchez and Prayze will be opening for the New Orleans-based rapper. The doors for the show open at 8 p.m., and the show begins at 8:30 p.m.
As always, High Dive shows are open to guests 18 years or older, and those under 21 will be charged an additional $3 fee. Tickets for the show are available for $17 at highdivegville.com and the High Dive box office. Tickets can also be purchased at Hear Again Records for an additional $1 charge.
Big Freedia is an energetic rapper who shatters crowds with fast-paced, crowd-interactive bounce music meant to get audiences moving and shaking. Big Freedia is also known for addressing social issues within her music, particularly regarding LGBTQ issues. While Big Freedia uses feminine pronouns, she told the Huffington Post in 2014 she prefers not to be categorized by gender.
“People get confused by if I am he or she,” Big Freedia said in an opening monologue for the song “Explode.”
“I am more than just Big Freedia. I am more than just Queen Diva. I am more than just Freddie Ross. I am me,” the Queen of Bounce said.
Big Freedia’s opener Hugo $anchez is an ever-expanding Gainesville hip-hop artist whose themes often grapple with politics and social justice matters as well. His most recent album, “Bad Hombres,” delves into those topics.
“I think that art, for a long time, has had responsibility to shine a light on issues and express things that are difficult to express … The role of the artist has always been to observe what’s going on around you,” $anchez said.
$anchez approaches these topics with a modern take on a 90s sound. The rapper gets inspiration from old cartoons, video games, music videos and other millennial retro subject matter.
“I’m really just in love with that aesthetic for a lot of reasons, you know,” $anchez said. “First of all, the sound — artistically it really appeals to me, but also it intrigues me the way that it’s subversive, you know. There was a lot of bad stuff happening in the 90s. It wasn’t that great of a time.”
Sanchez said exploring media from his childhood has allowed him to peel back a curtain and see the effects of a lack of minority representation in that time.
“I realized as a Latino, as a brown-skinned man, that the only time I saw minorities in ads or in commercials was in a food commercial or dancing or something,” $anchez said. “For a long time, the media and society have been telling people of color that they fit into certain roles and certain roles only. They’ve been telling women the same thing ... I think all of that is crumbling now.”
For this same reason, $anchez said he feels connected to the 60s as an era of social unrest and youth activism.
“Despite the problems that they had, despite the struggles that they were fighting, despite who the ruling class was at the time, the art still came through,” $anchez said.
Despite his frustrations with the slow progress in minority representation, $anchez said he feels encouraged by the uptake in youth activism today, particularly surrounding the #NeverAgain movement against gun violence.
“It’s like these young protesters are saying,” $anchez said. “The older generations are failing us, and it’s because we haven’t jumped into the ring to fight for our own causes.”
In addition to his performance with Big Freedia, $anchez has several projects in the works. He is working on music videos and a new hip-hop album, which will be titled “The Burp Stack Rack Files.” $anchez is also working with other artists to expand beyond the hip-hop genre into a more rock and soul sound.
Big Freedia, who is largely credited with popularizing New Orleans’ bounce genre, will perform tonight.