First, you pat your legs, then you wave your hands. Hit them elbows two times, now you doing my dance.
"Twerk Something," Cheeky Blakk, 1994
For native New Orleanians, when we hear those words we know exactly what tune to sing along to, and more importantly we know exactly what to do – we twerk something. In this week's season premiere episode, "A Change is Gonna Come," Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn) and his band Educated Fools play to a mostly empty house as he tries to hype what little crowd there is by giving it up for the "legendary Cheeky Blakk" performing on vocals. Her legendary status as the First Lady of Bounce is lost on the crowd of four or five sitting in the audience but Davis has never uttered a truer word.
Since the Miley Cyrus controversy at the MTV Video Music Awards this year, "twerking" has become part of the national lexicon, with everyone from news anchors to grandmas getting in on the rump shaking action. Like it or not, it's become part of the vernacular. But for those of us from New Orleans who've been bouncing to songs like "Twerk Something" since the early 90's we failed to see the controversy when Miley brought it to the national stage, especially because we know who brought it first. Cheeky Blakk is one of the originators, not to mention dominators of the New Orleans bounce music scene, with other bounce artists like Big Freedia, who was featured in Season 2 of "Treme," often giving credit where credit is due. As bounce music gains popularity nationwide and twerking contests are held in the streets of New York City, all roads lead back to Cheeky Blakk and her notorious hit "Twerk Something," rightfully making her the original Queen of Bounce.