Uh, We're Gonna Go Ahead And Call Bullshit On The Whole "Jay-Z Is Scoring 'The Great Gatsby'" Thing
In journalism, there's an unfortunate tendency to be first on breaking a story. If you're not first, the logic goes, you should be as close to first as humanly possible. While this ensures that information gets disseminated as rapidly as humanly possible, it also ensures that every once in a while, a story slips through the cracks that's pretty much total bullshit. Perhaps the most prominent music news story of the nascent year is that it's being widely reported that Jay-Z is helping score the upcoming film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The story is based on a tweet by the heretofore relatively unknown musician and director Jeymes Samuel (director of the upcoming western They Die By Dawn) of The Bullitts, which stated (sic), "Jay-Z and myself have been working tirelessly on the score for the upcoming #CLASSIC The GReat Gatsby! It is too DOPE for words!"
Okay, let's back up like eighteen steps here. The last time I checked, Jay-Z doesn't actually write or play music. Unless he learned how to play guitar since he pretended to play guitar at Glastonbury in 2008, he'll be composing or playing exactly jackshit. In all likelihood, the "composing" he'll be doing is watching the film a bunch of times and then giving Samuel a list of adjectives for each scene along with a recorder full of hummed melodies, and then Samuel will translate those into actual songs made with instruments. This works out for pretty much everybody—Jay-Z gets to pretend to do more impressive stuff (in case you forgot, he owns only slightly more than zero percent of the Brooklyn Nets), filmmaker Baz Luhrmann gets to throw another huge name on the poster along with Leonardo DiCaprio's, and Samuel will probably get to co-produce a beat on the next Kanye album.
The thing is Jay-Z should be involved with The Great Gatsby—perhaps the most quintessentially American tale—in some capacity, even if it's a sorta-bullshit one like pretending to do the score. Jay's story is so similar to that of James Gatz's that it's kinda funny. New Money dude who gets his fortune somewhat surreptitiously ends up on top, flamboyantly navigating the Old Money world and something something Beyoncé is Daisy West Egg All Seeing Eye etc. Also, if you take "Jay Gatz" and subtract the "Gat" you get "Jay-Z," which is one of those coincidental things that crazy people tend to make YouTube conspiracy theory videos about.
So in closing, Jay-Z is not scoring The Great Gatsby. What he's doing is called consulting. Jay-Z is consulting on the score of The Great Gatsby. Because I hate ending things on a negative note, here's a really great compilation of Ratchet music I found on Spotify that will return the joy to your life that I just sucked out with this buzzkill of a news story.
Drew Millard beats on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past on Twitter - @drewmillard