Big Freedia has long reigned as the Queen of Bounce, but her contributions to the entertainment industry extend way beyond that title. Ever since the debut of 2003’s Queen Diva mixtape, the New Orleans native has twerked her way to international recognition with her hometown pride in tow. She’s continued to keep the party rocking with the release of 11 projects including 2021’s Big Diva Energy EP.
Along the way, the rapper/singer/dancer has worked with everyone from Beyoncé and Drake to Kesha, Lizzo and Jake Shears. A GLAAD Media Award winner, she also starred in her own reality TV show (Fuse’s Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce). Always tireless, she recently shared plans to open a French Quarter boutique hotel, which will include a club-sized venue and a restaurant featuring her recipes.
As she juggles her many music and business ventures, she never fails to remain humble and — as she explains in this Best Advice episode with host Kim Taylor Bennett — kill them with kindness.
Check out Big Freedia’s full episode here, and read on for some of her key takeaways, below.
Health Is Wealth
“You can't do nothing for nobody if you're not healthy. Your health is first and foremost important. [My late mother] always stayed on me about taking care of myself: mental health, physical, emotionally, keeping up with doctor appointments and dentist appointments, everything that has to deal with taking care of the body. The body is your temple.”
Find Managers You Can Trust
“I did a lot of the managing myself in my early days,” Freedia says. “As time went on and I started to find trust, I hired a manager. We had a great relationship. And as I started to grow in my career, I switched managers. Both moments were learning processes of extending trust to someone to oversee my career… They oversee your whole life. [They’re] scheduling events, figuring out what's right and what's wrong, and they guide you. It’s important to have someone that you can learn that trust with, and build relationships.”
Prioritize Your Finances
“My [former] manager would teach me to get my money before I hit the stage. I [was] being ran out on and couldn’t find the promoter. So at an early age and the early phase of my career, I did not play when it came to my money. No matter if it's not the amount that I'm charging now, I would know to get my deposit to lock the date in and I knew I would get the other half before I hit the stage.”
“It's important to keep your books and do your taxes, because I'm still dealing with situations from trying to clean up the past. If you're not watching closely or [don’t] take time to go over these things, people can be sneaking thousands of dollars away from you without you even knowing. It's important to have the right accounting and a reputable company that you can go back to if legal situations happen.”
Never Stop Reaching Higher
“You’ve got to set goals and dreams that you want to do in life. And you always want to keep those goals and dreams going. Once you accomplish one, you know it don't stop there. You want to keep on knocking stuff off your bucket list. But remember to be humble and graceful and know that the way that you treat people will carry you a long way.”
“I heard RuPaul say it many times that, before you can go out and expect the world to love you, you do have to love yourself. And you have to make sure you're comfortable within yourself in order for other people to accept you. It's just always been a thing that stuck in my head [while] growing up and being picked on and bullied.”
Big Freedia’s uncle, who introduced her to Sylvester’s music, was also a guiding force. “He always gave me good advice: be real with yourself; Black, mighty, real.”