Big Boi may have taken to calling himself Sir Luscious Left Foot, but the Outkast rapper isn’t usually one to cut up a rug.
Yet he somehow managed to snag both a role and creative-director position in a ballet production titled “Big.” The show — which opens Friday (April 11) at Atlanta’s Fox Theater — centers around a child named Little Big.
The Grammy-winning rapper will perform “with some jeans on, believe that,” he told MTV News earlier this week. “No tutus.”
Costume issues aside, Big Boi said he was game when Atlanta Ballet’s artistic director John McFall first approached him with the idea.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was like, ‘Huh, y’all wanna do that?’ [Then] I said, ‘OK, let’s crank it up.’ ”
So, for the past year, the rapper recruited bandmembers, developed a story line and worked with choreographer Lauri Stallings to put the project together. For the show, he selected about 10 Outkast songs, plus songs by Sleepy Brown and former protégé Janelle Monáe , who also join the dancers onstage.
“It’s about Little Big and the innocence of a child and just different things happening during the scenes, or whatever, that could affect the directions he goes and the mind state he has.”
“I just think it’s about having fun,” 12-year-old Kameron Davis, who plays Little Big, chimed in.
The production is now set for a six-show run, but Big said if things go well, it may hit the road as a tour. If it does, he’ll have to juggle “Big” with his long-awaited solo album , Sir Luscious Left Foot, due in July. The slick lyricist will debut a new song from the album, “Sir Luscious Left Foot Saves the Day,” during his ballet performance.
It’s just another notch in the nattily clad rapper’s belt. Although Outkast has a reputation for being left-of-center, Big said his pairing with the ballet was actually an easy fit in his eyes. He was more surprised that the ballet would go with it.
“It was a natural thing [for me],” he said. “I’ve seen it before. As a kid you go and see ‘The Nutcracker.’ But for them to take a risk and get some music that’s gonna beat their back out and do some hard-core funk music and let the ballet audience meet the hip-hop audience — I thought it’d be a good collaboration.”