Magnolia Shorty was the undisputed queen of New Orleans bounce rap. From her days as the only female Cash Money crew member to her more recent “My Boy” duet with young Kourtney Heart, Magnolia Shorty pretty much owned New Orleans since before she was even a teenager.
I met Shorty in 2010, when Young Audiences paid her to come perform at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art with my summer music students, who‘d written a handful of original rap songs. This thrilled my students, who all loved Shorty’s kid-friendly local radio hit “My Boy,” and couldn’t wait to tell their friends and family that they opened a concert for the Queen of Bounce.
Shorty wore her sunglasses throughout the event, in and out of doors She was super sweet to everyone, especially the kids. The event was a huge success, as evidenced by this video (story continued below):
So I thought, after that experience with the kids, Shorty and I would have a great, loose interview for AntiGravity magazine. Though her answering service featured an original outgoing message from Birdman, interviewing her by phone was my mistake; Shorty was soft spoken, preferring to let classic songs like “Monkey on the Dick” and “Smoking Gun” speak for her. Nor did she seem particularly in the mood for an interview on the day I called. She talked more to whoever was there in the room with her. I couldn’t understand half of what she did say for all the racket in her background. A great illustration of the importance of conducting interviews in person, I give you the following “conversation,” which goes down in history as Magnolia Shorty’s last interview ever:
MPW: So how did you end up putting together this November show at The Saint with local rock band, felix?
Magnolia Shorty: Well I met (Felix keyboardist) Thomas through the bar he worked at, and he told me he was a rock band player. And he asked would I be interested in doing a concert with him, and I told him that would be a good idea.
MPW: Have you ever performed at the Saint before?
MS: No, I haven’t.
Have you ever been there?
No, I haven’t.
OK. So. What else are you up to currently in your musical career?
I have an album about to drop December 12, it’s called “Miss Bossy.”
OK. Can you tell us a little about that? What can we expect from this album, and how will it be different from your other records?
You can expect a lot of motivation, a lot of music to dance to, some stuff that’s sexual. I have 16 songs on there. It’s more maturity. A little different lyrics.
Is it not as explicit?
Oh it’s very explicit, especially “Birdman’s Daughter,” “G Strip,” and “I’m The Greatest.”
What are your plans for the album and who is releasing it?
I am releasing it independently and just gonna see how it does.
You mentioned Birdman, and I heard him on your outgoing message. Is he on the album? You still hang out with those guys?
Yeah, I still hang out with those guys. (laughs)
OK. How do you go about writing your songs?
I sit down and I just write what’s on my mind.
OK. Well. So. Tell us about the “My Boy” single with young Kourtney Heart that was impossible to get away from this summer.
It was actually a new version of a song I had already done; Kourtney remade the song. We collaborated and I rapped on her version.
How did you meet Kourtney Heart?
I know her from her manager; he called my manager for us to do a song together and we went in the studio together.
Did that “My Boy” single open up a new audience for you?
It affected me real good. It got a lot of radio play and people loved it. We did a couple of shows in Houma, Thibodaux, a couple of places.
Seems like maybe you would have some worlds colliding there, with Kourtney Heart teen pop and “Monkey on the Dick.”
Well it’s all still bounce music. It’s just a little different beat. But it’s the same kind of music to me. I been out there since I was 12 years old, so basically I brought Kourtney out. People already know about me actually, and what to expect from me because I’ve been out so long.
How was your pioneering show bringing bounce to South by Southwest, in Austin? Tell us about that.
You know it was good, a lot of people, very promotional to get the music out there. But they really loved it.
What type of crowd was it? It’s usually all white rock’n rollers at South by Southwest.
Yeah that’s the kind of party it was: white rock’n roll.
Where they bending over shakin?
Yeah of course. They did a good job.
Weeks later Magnolia Shorty would be murdered in a parked car by 26 bullets. My students did not seem surprised or depressed.
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