*New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia said she had “no idea” her voice would be part of Jennifer Lopez’s Video Vanguard performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday, and she’s feeling some kinda way about not giving the heads up.
The rapper’s voice could be heard in the background saying the opening line to a remix of Drake’s “Nice For What,” saying, “I wanna know who mothaf**kin’ representin’ in here tonight.”
In an exclusive statement to Billboard, Freedia says that she was honored to be included in JLo’s legendary performance at the VMAs. “JLo is the queen and was lit at the VMAs,” she says. “I’m always honored to see my music and New Orleans Bounce make its way into mainstream culture.”
But the rapper found it disconcerting that no one told her ahead of time. “I had no idea about it and saw it as it was happening, like everyone else,” she says. “Would have been nice for MTV to have given me or my team a heads-up beforehand.”
This is the latest instance in which Freedia’s voice was used by a massive mainstream artist, after being featured in Drake’s recent singles and in Beyonce’s “Formation.”
Earlier this year, Freedia told The Fader that she felt snubbed in Drake’s “Nice For What” video, where her voice was used, but not her face. “People want to use bounce music as a part of their music but when it comes to the proper recognition of me being in the video, that’s something that we’re steady working towards to make it happen,” she said.
That interview led to a phone conversation with Drake, and she went on to appear in his video for “In My Feelings,” where she is shown spitting bars in a nightclub.
In the meantime, Freedia is preparing for her upcoming fall tour with fellow New Orleans soul artists Tank and the Bangas, along with promoting her new single “Karaoke” featuring hip hop superstar Lizzo.
Below, JLo’s full MTV, VMA performance: