“Where They At,” or “Wha Dey At,” is the title of a song generally recognized as the first bounce release, recorded in late 1991 as a cassette-only release by rapper T.T. Tucker, with the late DJ Irv. It was also recorded a few months after by DJ Jimi Payton for producer Isaac Bolden’s Soulin’ Records/Avenue Distribution. To all accounts, these recordings marked the point in time at which New Orleans rap first found its own voice in that raw, celebratory, infectious block-party style.
Bounce’s signature rhythms and call-and-response chants are deeply rooted in New Orleans’ cultural heritage, including Mardi Gras Indian and second-line traditions. The exhibit “Where They At” documents pioneering New Orleans rappers from the 1980’s, 1990’s, and early 2000’s, the period when bounce music melded and interplayed with lyrical hip-hop and gangsta rap in New Orleans to create a unique, hybrid Crescent City hip-hop sound – the newest branch of Southern roots music.
Photographer Aubrey Edwards and journalist Alison Fensterstock, over the course of 18 months, photographed and interviewed more than 40 rappers, DJs, producers, label and record store owners from the New Orleans bounce and hip-hop music scene. This archive includes original portraits and interview excerpts, original video and audio, and collected artifacts including vintage records, tapes, scene snapshots and other ephemera.
Alison Fensterstock is a New Orleans-based music journalist. From 2006-2009, she wrote an award-winning music column for the city's alt-weekly, The Gambit. Her writing on roots music and New Orleans rap has appeared in MOJO, Vibe, Q, Paste, Spin and the Oxford American Music Issue. Recently, she wrote the text for "Unsung Heroes: The Secret History of Louisiana Rock n' Roll," an exhibit currently on display at the Louisiana State Museum. She is the programming director for the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation. Her Gambit cover story on gay and transgendered bounce artists in New Orleans, "Sissy Strut," was selected for an honorable mention in Da Capo Press's Best American Music Writing 2009.
Aubrey Edwards is a Brooklyn and New Orleans-based music photographer and educator. Edwards was an award-winning, primary music photographer for the alt-weekly Austin Chronicle from 2004-2008; her present client list includes the United Nations, Magnolia Pictures, Playboy, SPIN, XXL and Comedy Central. She teaches photography and videography in low-income NYC public schools, and runs a continued education photography school in downtown Brooklyn. Her recent work in New Orleans includes guest lecturing with the University of New Orleans photo department, conducting workshops with the New Orleans Kid Camera Project, and completing an artist residency with Louisiana Artworks.
Abita Beer, Abrons Art Center, Adrian Saldana, Alex Rawls & OffBeat magazine, Austin Powell, Chris Robinson, Colin Meneghini, Dr. Ira Padnos & The Ponderosa Stomp, Emil Nassar, Eric Brightwell, Heather West, Iris Brooks, Jacob Devries, Jayme McLellan & Civilian Art Projects, Jeremy Smith, John and Glenda "Goldie Roberts", John Swenson, Johnathan Durham, Jordan Hirsch & Aimee Bussells, Loren K. Phillips Fouroux, Matt Miller, Matt Sakakeeny PhD, Matt Sonzala, Michael Bateman, Neighborhood Story Project, Our Kickstarter Supporters, Patrick Strange, Polo Silk, Rachel Ornelas & the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Scott Aiges, Sean Yent Schuster-Craig, Stephen Thomas, The Birdhouse Gallery, The Soap Factory, Wild Wayne & Industry Influence
D. Lefty Parker | Audio Mastering
Erik Kiesewetter/EBSL | Art Direction & Design
Rami Sharkey | Web Development
Jac Currie & Defend New Orleans | Funder
The Greater New Orleans Foundation | Funder
Ogden Museum of Southern Art | Partner
All the project participants who shared their time, their words, and their support.
I just ran across this site....I love it.its great to have a site where u can see all the new and old rappers from the city...I get to keep up with events going on in New Orleans..while living in Dallas Tx...Thanks again...
Please keep this project alive and growing. I just happened up this site when I did a search on Bust Down, wondering, where he at? Going through the photos and reading the oral histories has brought back so many fond memories of my college days at Xavier in New Orleans. I was witness to most of this history and it is a part of my story. Unfortunately, we have lost so many folks due to tragic, violent circumstances. Hopefully, projects like this will help people understand and treasure the people around them. They gave us so much! By the way, Where is Davey D?
Hi there! Saw the Ogden show this Spring. Huge fan of this work and hope to catch yall in NYC. Just realized that I missed Pete's Candy Store so please add me to you mailing list. Thanks and hop on!
hey guys i loved your show but i couldnt get the dvd. is their any way i can get it. a good song for your next show would be pon de floor by major lasor. but your shows music was really cool. can u put up a play list of the songs you used.
I love this "Where They At" project. It is so refreshing to see their stories told so fittingly. God bless your heart for this.
Similar to sthaddeus polo terrell, I wonder how members of the community are constantly engaged in (and benefit from) a project that is based on them.
I'm not from NOLA so I don't know the best ways to promote for the community explored, but I think a medium-large-scale virtual exhibit would be cool (the website is like an exhibit in itself).
I would also like to see bruthas (& sistas ) like,Notorious Nate,Deff Genreation,Ganja Children,face Forever,psychoward, E.R.C,Rescue Crew,LowDown Boys,Fugitives,Silky slim,Big Mike,Lil Elt & Dj Tee (of "Get the Gat" fame) as well as Pge 1,Country ,Wild style & the original Dragon master showcase have a spot as well.....If it's hip hop SLASH bounce lets give the official game changers A place on your walls...not side jeffing at all just keepin it 100.....PEACE yall.
Writing to bring awareness to one of NOLA newest and brightest hip hop artists. His name is MARTYRMAN . He is actually saying something substantial!!!! I think you should check him out. Here is a link to his new video.
These are very valid concerns. To answer your questions, we began with a master list created with Q 93's Wild Wayne, and created with extensive research by Alison with community input. We asked each person we tracked down to look at the list and add on if they felt we were missing a key figure that was important to the archive. Keep in mind, some folks didn't return our phone calls, some are incarcerated, and some we are still searching for. This project does not end when the New Orleans exhibition comes down! This website will be evolving, more people will be added, and their stories will be available and accessible online for a very, very long time.
As I'm sure you know, promoting any event is a challenge and word of mouth is usually a major factor. We are lucky to have the folks featured in the exhibition, such as yourself and the 50+ others, spreading the word within their community, that is a very crucial element. Presently we are working with various teachers and schools to bring students in free of charge to learn this valuable history, and we are planning programming in conjunction with Essence Fest.
We would love to hear any ideas you have for aggressive promotion in your community.
reat exhibit -but im constantally being asked who decided who and what is being displayed and why it is not being marketed to the community it reflects its like ok heres your history but we dont want u 2 know about it are how important this music form is some how there needs 2 be more things done 2 get the urban area 2 know about this before its over
Ricky B can be contacted at 225-xxx-xxxx. He just finished a new album The Archives Vol.1 with the single being Save My City. Its another fire bounce classic that features the sample Back Down Memory Lane. He stands out from the rest of the bounce artists. Not that he's better but his creativity over bounce tracks are classic material. Hope this helps
In regards to Ricky B:
Alison and I have been searching VERY long and hard through many outlets for the illusive Ricky Bickham; we have even considered hiring a private investigator.
All of our Ricky B sitings end with him in Baton Rouge sometime in the early 90's. If anyone knows where Ricky "shake for your hood" B is, please contact us! This archive needs him.
thanks for the site.
CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME INFORMATION ABOUT RICKY B?
He's stands out and reps hard, but I can't find info online.
TELL ME WHAT YA KNOW!
love from TN/ BK
site looks hot!
We needed this bad... thank you to all who made it happen. Can't wait to see the exhibit.
great site, love the map! well done y'all
THANK YOU SO MUCH. Love the site, so much history and knowledge!
Wish I could be there to see the exhibition in person, but the site does great justice to those of us being New Orleanians wherever we are. Cheers!
Bounce is taking over the Universe (beginning with the art world)!
So we'll use this site to advocate for international bootybounce lessons and workshops, right? Is that the idea?
The site looks great. Awesome content.