Grammy Award-winning musical artist Shawn “Jay Z” Carter has collaborated with director Baz Luhrmann on “The Great Gatsby” to bring the modern “Jazz Age” energy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s original text to the big screen.
The Brooklyn rapper will soundtrack Gatsby’s champagne-infused dance floors, the rumble in New York’s illegal speakeasies, and help to foreshadow the tragedy behind Gatsby’s “extraordinary gift for hope” to articulate the film’s “1920s-Meets-Now” sound.
Luhrmann and Jay Z were introduced by Leonardo DiCaprio (Jay Gatsby) and have worked together over the past two years to create a sound suitable for Luhrmann’s adaption of one of America’s most defining novels.
Luhrmann emphasised that “Fitzgerald was a pioneer, famed and controversial for using the then-new and explosive sound called jazz in his novels and short stories—not just as decoration, but to actively tell story using the immediacy of pop culture. He coined the phrase ‘the Jazz Age.’”
He continued “So, the question for me in approaching Gatsby was how to elicit from our audience the same level of excitement and pop-cultural immediacy toward the world that Fitzgerald did for his audience? And in our age, the energy of jazz is caught in the energy of hip-hop.”
“The Great Gatsby” follows would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.