Get your trigger fingers ready for the latest TikTok craze: the #GetTheGatChallenge. Shaking your all-important handguns to Lil Elt’s 1992 track ‘Get The Gat’, the viral dance first blew up with a video of Louisiana State University’s American Football team’s locker room celebration after they won the College Football Playoff National Championship.
— GrantDelpit (@realgrantdelpit) December 29, 2019
Following their record breaking win, The White House called them over for a visit, but the dance wasn’t created by those sweaty football players. Instead, it came from a fellow LSU student, referred to as Subtweet Shawn, who revived Lil Elt’s vivacious track; a New Orleans bounce music classic that’s almost 30 years old.
But what is bounce music, you might ask? Created in New Orleans’ housing projects in the late 1980s, its defined by its repetitive nature and distinctive call-and-response style as well as aggressive and hyper-sexual lyrics. The genre even birthed twerking.
Hip-Hop Evolution has been putting us on to Black History facts for a while now ??
Here's an origin story on twerking: pic.twitter.com/YPzktb1GT8
— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) February 9, 2020
Though born in New Orleans, the genre was loosely based around two staple beats that were not from NOLA. The ‘Triggerman’ beat was ripped from New York’s The Showboys, and ‘Brown Beat’ is through to come from either the UK rapper Derek B or LA’s Cameron Paul. The eccentric city of New Orleans took these musical imports and made them their own, often blending the two to make that signature, wobbly sonic boom that only bounce music has.
This special sound was unique to New Orleans for a long time, but soon labels like Birdman’s Cash Money and Master P’s No Limit took the sound out to the rest of the rap world. Cash Money’s Juvenile had the hit track ‘Back That Azz Up’ with Lil Wayne in 1999 and after some major radio play, the track broke into the mainstream. ‘Back That Azz Up’ became the highest charting bounce track ever, peaking at 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Juvenile and ‘bounce ambassador’ Big Freedia still champion the genre to this day. Even Drake’s hideously successful ‘In My Feelings’ in 2018 took elements of New Orleans’ bounce, which many took a blind eye (or a deaf ear) to. In its breakdown sections, the song sampled vocals from the late queen of bounce, Magnolia Shorty – who was murdered in 2010 – as well as the staple ‘Brown Beat’.
Even Miami’s City Girls on 2018’s ‘Take Yo Man’ (a spin on Salt-N-Pepa‘s ‘I’ll Take Your Man’) and Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ have included the recognisable USPs of New Orleans’ bounce music. And with Big Freedia still making bounce music to be loud and proud to, and all these TikTok kids popularising ‘Get The Gat’, 2020 looks set to bounce hard.