Jay-Z to produce, perform on ‘Great Gatsby’ soundtrack

Jay-Z performs in Los Angeles in 2011 as part of the "Watch the Throne" tour with Kanye West.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Jay-Z plans to put a modern spin on jazz when he lends himself to the soundtrack for “The Great Gatsby.”

Although the Bullitts, the musical designation for producer/musician Jeymes Samuel, leaked the news late last year, Jay-Z’s involvement was officially confirmed Friday in a release from Warner Bros.

Jay-Z said he will bring a modern “Jazz Age” energy to the soundtrack for the adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of 1920s America. He also promised the score will feature “the world’s top musical artists,” an easy guarantee when your wife is Beyonce and you count Kanye West and Chris Martin among your friends.


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The multi-platinum rapper/mogul was introduced to Luhrmann by Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the mysterious titular character, and this led to a two-year collaboration. “As soon as I spoke with Baz and Leonardo, I knew this was the right project,” Jay-Z said in a statement.

“‘The Great Gatsby’ is that classic American story of one’s introduction to extravagance, decadence and illusion. It’s ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist. The imagination Baz brought to ‘Moulin Rouge’ made it a masterpiece, and ‘Romeo + Juliet’s’ score wasn’t just in the background; the music became a character. This film’s vision and direction has all the makings of an epic experience,” the statement read.

Jay-Z will be executive producer of the soundtrack and contribute new songs to the score by composer Craig Armstrong, who worked with Luhrmann on “Moulin Rouge!” and “Romeo + Juliet.”

An early trailer for the film featured Jay-Z’s hit, “No Church in the Wild,” his 2011 collaboration with Kanye West that earned him his 17th Grammy in February.

This isn’t the first time Jay has produced music inspired by film. He anchored his 2007 album, “American Gangster” around the Ridley Scott-directed crime drama of the same name, which starred Denzel Washington.

The soundtrack of the film, which opens on May 10, will be released on Interscope Records.

Follow @GerrickKennedy


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