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.
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.”
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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.