Jay-Z’s got a lot to keep himself busy these days. As if becoming a part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets while maintaining his place as one of the biggest names in hip-hop industry wasn’t enough, he also signed onto Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated film adaptation of The Great Gatsby as the film’s soundtrack producer. Jay’s responsibilities for the film include “procuring, performing, producing and arranging for a soundtrack featuring some of the world’s top musical artists.”
Jay-Z became involved with the project after being introduced to Luhrmann by “Gatsby” star Leonardo DiCaprio. Jay was immediately attracted to the idea of putting a contemporary spin on the classic American story of extravagance, disillusionment, and the unattainable “green light.” Luhrmann felt that he was the perfect candidate for shaping the musical direction of the film and decided to use his track “No Church in the Wild” for the film’s trailer music. According to a press statement, Jay-Z and Luhrmann spent two years working together trying to blend the lavish lifestyle of the 1920’s as depicted by F. Scott Fitzgerald with modern cultural elements, specifically hip-hop. Luhrmann had the idea that the excitement of “the Jazz Age” felt in Fitzgerald’s novel would best be translated in a modern context through the energy of hip-hop. And what musical figure represents the excitement of today’s hip-hop culture better than Jay-Z?