By Maurice Bobb
If you “understand the intelligence that Jay-Z has,” you already knew that the hip-hop cash king wouldn’t stop his upwardly mobile quest for black excellence at hanging out with Warren Buffet and President Barack Obama. The Roc Nation Sports agent was bound to go Hollywood and he’s done just that with his latest move: scoring one of the year’s most lavish set pieces to date, Baz Luhrmann’s "The Great Gatsby."
Hov showed up dapper in a charcoal grey bespoke suit to the film’s New York premiere Wednesday (May 1) and rubbed elbows with Hollywood’s elite, including Leonardo DiCaprio, who, according to him, introduced the Watch the Throne MC to the movie’s director.
In addition to scoring the movie that centers around a Midwestern war veteran that finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay also served as executive producer to the soundtrack, which, of course, features a new song by the man himself, "100$ Bill.” The song was previously released as a 90-second snippet last month, but can be heard in its entirety today as part of NPR’s First Listen.
On the chopped and screwed track, Jigga channels his wife Beyonce’s hometown flow, spitting, "I write like Mark Twain, Jay Gatsby I park thangs/ Yellow cars, yellow gold, like Slick Rick, still tip/ On four-fours, fo-fos at the four-O, four-O," before peppering the beat with calculated opulence with lines like, “Carter, new Kennedy, no ordinary Joe, you will remember me/no prohibition for my coalition, Colin Powell, general admission.”
And lest you forget that Marcy Projects’ favorite son knows how to get grimy with it, he serves up bars like this: “You all welcome, new Malcolm, of the talcum, by any means, AK looking out the window screen, uh/Let’s get it on new Marvin, you wanna become my hundredth problem, semi-automatic or revolve him, semi-automatic I’ll solve ‘em.”
In addition to Jay, the project will also feature songs by will.i.am, Lana Del Rey, Fergie, Q-Tip, Andre 3000 and the Queen of the BeyHive.
"It's not the typical soundtrack, or a standalone piece,” Jay says of the soundtrack. “The songs are pretty much in the film, so it goes hand in hand with each other. It had to fit pretty snug, it wasn't an afterthought.”