With all the acclaim for Big Boi’s fantastic Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty, it’s easy to forget that the rapper had to spend the better part of the three years wrestling with legal and business issues before finally releasing it. But he made the most of that time: he worked on “Big”, an out-of-the-box collaboration with the Atlanta Ballet Company. In the just-posted video for the reflective Sir Luscious track “The Train Pt. 2″ we finally see what it was all about. Has Big Boi put his best foot forward, or is this a step back? Watch here and decide.
Big Boi notes on his website that he considers this eight-minute piece to be “the first video that I shot off the album” and that “The Train Pt. 2″ was intended as a first or second single. But it’s clear that he made the right move by re-entering with “Shutterbugg” instead of the loose, documentary-style video here.
A few weeks ago, we praised Kris Allen’s low-budget, homespun “Alright With Me” video for bringing us up close and personal with the young star behind the scenes of his tour. The verbosely-titled “The Train, Pt. 2 (Sir Lucious Saves the Day)” purports to take a similar approach, featuring footage from the 2008 production of “Big”. But while the ponderous opening feels like it’s setting up something poignant and meaningful, what follows is a pretty standard collection of behind-the-scenes clips that don’t particularly highlight the dancing or reveal much about Big Boi’s involvement in putting this all together.
Certainly some of the balletic visuals work nicely with the energetic yet mournful mood of the song, but many images feel random and disconnected from the music. There’s nothing intimate or enlightening about what we see behind the scenes (sightings of Janelle Monae and Sleepy Brown aside), and the footage of the performance doesn’t bring us close enough or hold long enough to seem like more than a home video. It’s sort of like the footage was put together first with the track just laid over it, rather than actually edited to the music. This makes for a less-than-compelling video for a striking song that deserved more panache — imagine what this video might have looked like had they recreated scenes from the ballet with better lighting and camera work!
There’s even a self-congratulatory tag featuring Big Boi emerging forth into wild applause — deserved for his ballet, no doubt. But not so much for this video.