The bounce music misnomer has been around for decades: DJs with little access to live instruments just shouted obscenities over simple beats to which women can shake their asses. Dismissive synopses like those only serve to cheapen the long-standing history that led to the bounce movement and the sound’s cultural impact on New Orleans. That’s where Matt Miller and his book Bounce come in. Miller draws a direct line from the slave gatherings in Congo Square to the bounce culture that has pervaded the Big Easy over the last 30 years.
Miller leaves no stone unturned, focusing on every conceivable way bounce has affected New Orleans. He discusses everything from the music’s socioeconomic impact to the way it was covered by the city’s journalists (even giving a nice tip of the cap to Karen Cortello’s coverage of bounce in this very publication).
While there’s plenty to sink your teeth into as a reader, one of the most interesting aspects comes from the stories of NOLA rap crews and their beginnings. Here we get accounts of Mannie Fresh’s and Mia X’s starts in New York Incorporated. Miller shows the bounce ties shared by the national superstars who came out of the city, and how the genre gave birth to the major empires of No Limit and Cash Money. Just as important, though, are the contributions of local legends Ricky B, DJ Jubilee et al., who are all given their just amount of attention.
Bounce is a comprehensive history and should stand as the go-to document for anyone looking to read up on one of the most important music genres in the country.