Ricky B
  • Ricky B

The addictive, hyped-up party rap sound from New Orleans known as bounce has been around long before Big Freedia scored her own Fuse show and toured with the reunited Postal Service. One of the players in the bounce scene back in the 90s was Ricky Bickham, aka Ricky B, who was rumored to have died in the aughts after he stopped recording and performing in 2001. Bickham returned to the stage in 2010, and last month he made his first trip to Chicago to play songs off Urban Unrest and Sinking City’s 2013 Ricky B compilation B Is for Bounce: New Orleans Rap Classics 1994-95.

Before he performed at Logan Hardware on a snowy afternoon last month, Bickham sat down and spoke with me for the Reader‘s Soundcheck series, telling me about his career, about representing New Orleans’s Seventh Ward, the history of bounce, and what brought him back to the scene. We also captured Bickham’s delightful set, including two of his best cuts—a cleaned-up version of the raw “Shake It fo Ya Hood” and the jubilant “Ya’ll Holla,” which Bickham performed with local brass-band players. Check out the video after the jump.

Thanks to the folks at Logan Hardware—including sound guy Todd Rittmann—for letting us film the set. Bickham hopes to return to Chicago soon, so keep your eyes glued on Soundboard to see when he comes back to town. If you’re in the mood to check out a bounce show before then, you’re in luck—Big Freedia is playing the Reader‘s fifth annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party at Logan Square Auditorium, and if her previous shows are any indication the event will be ridiculously fun.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.