Sir Mix-a-Lot to Update 'Baby Got Back' With Seattle Symphony

Composer Gabriel Prokofiev takes inspiration from the rapper for Sonic Evolution series

April 9, 2014 10:50 AM ET
Sir Mix-a-Lot
Sir Mix-a-Lot
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Sir Mix-a-Lot will be appearing as a special guest with the Seattle Symphony this summer as the orchestra performs a new composition inspired by the "Baby Got Back" rapper's work. 

Where Are They Now? Sir Mix-a-Lot and More of 1992's Biggest Pop Acts

The Sir Mix-a-Lot piece was written by Gabriel Prokofiev, a London-based composer and DJ, founder of the record label Nonclassical and grandson of the great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

In an interview with The Quietus, Prokofiev described the work and the influence he took from the good Sir Mix. "I'm orchestrating two of his most famous hits, and he's actually going to rap on stage with orchestra. He's got this rap persona but in reality he's the softest; he's only interested in mixing. His most famous hit is 'Baby Got Back' which starts, 'I like Big Butts...' and so I'm doing a new piece based on the rhythms of his raps."

The piece is part of a series called Sonic Evolution, which commissions new orchestral work inspired by Seattle's music icons. Previous Sonic Evolution events have featured pieces inspired by Alice in Chains, Kurt Cobain, Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix.

"All the most famous people had been done," Prokofiev said of his selection for the series. "But when I got the list, the one person who hadn't been done who I thought was really interesting was Sir Mix-A-Lot. He's a Nineties rapper; he's quite humorous and a fun guy."

The Prokofiev/Sir Mix-a-Lot work will have its premiere on June 6th at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, in a performance conducted by Ludovic Morlot. The evening's program will also feature work inspired by Bill Frisell and Ray Charles and a performance by local indie band Pickwick.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »