Bounce Beings: Cheeky Blakk and Moe Joe

Editor’s Note: Brace yourself, we are going to focus on bounce without including Big Freedia. We that it is almost sacrilegious here in New Orleans, but the world of bounce exists all around the city. Tulane students Zach Raynor, Celine McGoran, and Daniela Rojas went out with Cheeky Blakk and Moe Joe to see how bounce is part of their being. 

Photo courtesy of Cheeky Blakk.

Cheeky Blakk on Bounce & Identity
“I’m raw. I’m raw and uncut, that’s the real me. When you are dealing with Cheeky, just remember to have fun and let go and release. If you are graduating and stressed and say to yourself ‘What should I do?’, I say go to a Cheeky Blakk concert and release.”


Blending of Communities: Cheeky Blakk, from the Lower 9th ward, dancing with Moe Joe, from New Iberia, Louisiana. Photo courtesy of Cheeky Blakk.

Cheeky Blakk on Diversity within the Bounce Community of New Orleans
“It’s like a call and response, it’s different from other jazz, hip hop, and things of that nature. Me, I’m from the lower 9th ward, that’s where I’m from, we do things totally different from Uptown. So it’s like y’all’s cultures and my culture, it’s a big ol’ difference. Uptown is more flashy, downtown is not. [Uptown] likes flashy, like big bling. Lower 9th ward is more family oriented, totally different, we are in our own little circle.


Moe Joe dancing in her Bounce Fitness Studio. Photo by Celine McGoran.

Moe Joe on Bounce & Identity
”I can’t talk about Bounce Fitness with Moe Joe without bringing up my upbringing in the country. My name is Moe Joe, that comes from my family, that’s connected from somewhere. I can’t talk about bounce fitness without talking about my experience growing up and consuming and being inspired by bounce music. That means that not only my identity but also the identify of my family and those traditions, my community, my school settings, what type of social clubs.”


Moe Joe dancing in a park along the Mississippi. Photo by Celine McGoran.

Moe Joe on Bounce & New Orleans
“It’s just people from here are from here. The language and how they speak, they put that in the music, the neighborhoods that they’re from. The things that they create, their artistic visions, those are things that apparently was a part of their DNA or their thought process. It’s something that is connected from here. You can’ talk about New Orleans bounce and not talk about New Orleans because it’s connected through and through to the identity to this place.”


Moe Joe dancing in her Bounce Fitness Studio. Photo by Celine McGoran.

Moe Joe on Bounce Culture, Race, & Class
“There are a lot of people who come to Bounce Fitness who wouldn’t do what they consider bounce dancing in a club. There are people in my classes who won’t go to a second line because at one point that was considered lower class. At one point it’s a necessary evil but it’s like you can’t talk about urban culture without talking about social and class issues that come with these cultures. Some people think that bounce was a low class thing and didn’t want to do anything with it. There was a woman down the street that said she didn’t think ten years ago that bounce would take off the way it took off. Because at one point it was considered, especially for the women, for the women not being associated, it was a low class thing girl thing, a whore girl thing, a loose girl.”