New Orleans bounce rapper Big Freedia released a track called “Rona” in support of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE)’s COVID-19 relief program. As expected of Freedia, the accompanying music video shows off Freedia and some others twerking in a few different locations.
CORE partners with community organizations and cities to make COVID-19 testing more accessible. Sean Penn and Ann Lee co-founded the organization in 2010 to help Haiti after the earthquake devastated the country. CORE’s COVID-19 relief provides free testing and contact tracing. They focus on high-risk areas, especially low-income neighborhoods and communities with people of color.
So far, CORE has been able to provide testing across California, Chicago, Georgia, Navajo Nation, New Orleans, New York and North Carolina. Freedia is more specifically raising awareness for the New Orleans partnership, but also for the whole organization’s efforts.
In “Rona,” Freedia raps about washing hands, cancelling plans, wearing a mask and protecting against germs in the air. The chopped up “R-r-r-rona Rona Rona Rona Rona Rona…” and “G-g-g-g-germs everywhere” make up the hook. Fast drums, heavy bass and a few switch ups make the beat standard for the bounce subgenre Freedia helped popularize.
“When they asked me to make a song, I was fully on board,” Freedia said in a statement. “Many people in my community work as essential workers and are at high risk for getting sick. Anything I can do to spread the word about testing and best practices for COVID, I’m down to do.”
Floating germ animations, camera zooms and TV static transitions add to the energy of the music in the video. Freedia and crew can be seen shaking booties on a playground, in a house and on stage. They wear several different matching outfits when they’re dancing, but for a few clips of Freedia rapping on her own, she reps a CORE shirt.
Freedia released an EP called Louder early in March featuring collaborations from Icona Pop, The Soul Rebels, Kesha and Lil Aaron. She also featured on songs by New Kids on the Block and CocoRosie this year, and released a single called “Mm Mm Good” in September.