Always original and trend-setting, Outkast member Big Boi recently revealed his plans for the first ever hip-hop ballet.
In a recent interview with American Public Media, the rapper explained a project called “BIG,” a ballet production in which he plans both a role and creative-director position. He admitted an interest in applying a hip-hop theme to ballet after being approached by the Atlanta Ballet.
“To put that to dance, to something as calm as a ballet and you get different types of music for them to dance to — I think long as the beat’s there and they can feel the music, that they’re really gonna dig it man. It’s gonna be electrifying,” the rapper said.
Doing her research, Atlanta Ballet’s resident choreographer Lauri Stallings listened to every Outkast single ever released. “Outkast is just a huge engine, and it’s a very good car — it’s a Rolls Royce. I got to go inside that world and discuss with Big [Boi] what part of the engine we wanted to use,” Stallings confessed.
For the past year, Big Boi recruited bandmembers, developed a story line and worked with Stallings to put the project together. For the show, 10 Outkast songs were selected.
The rapper is excited about the whole idea, merging two art forms, but admitted he was scared of getting hit by the dancers’ shoes.
“You have two different forms of art coming together to make one feature. You got distinction and the elegance and the sophistication of the ballet with the funk of me and my band and what we do—as long as I don’t get hit with one of those tutu shoes,” he said jokingly.
“BIG” opened on Friday (April 11) at Atlanta’s Fox Theater, and is now set for a six-show run. But if things go well, it may hit the road as a tour.
Additionally, Big Boi is prepping the release of his next solo album, Sir Luscious Left Foot. If the ballet production heads on the road, he’ll have to juggle the shows with the preparation of the album, which is expected in July.