The Great Gatsby (Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film)

Various Artists
The Great Gatsby (Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film)

When it came time to sort out the soundtrack for his adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann and executive producer JAY-Z had a clear goal: “Translate jazz, which was African American street music, into a hip-hop sensibility,” Luhrmann tells Apple Music. “To open the door, to feel the energy and the pulse.” It isn’t just that hip-hop succeeded jazz as the foremost musical expression of Black America (and America generally, really); it’s the way rap’s sometimes tragic preoccupation with wealth and status mirrors Gatsby’s own—a pursuit that seems to make Gatsby happy until it doesn’t. Emeli Sandé’s 1920s-hot version of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” makes the connection explicit, but songs like Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” are just as pertinent: The only real difference between alienation then and now is the date on the calendar.

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