Thanks to roles in "Gangs of New York," "Inception" and the upcoming "The Great Gatsby," Leonardo DiCaprio ranks among the most respected actors in Hollywood. So when DiCaprio name-dropped a couple of the hottest names in hip-hop, his affection for pop culture — not to mention knowledge of it — comes as a welcome surprise.
When MTV News asked about his love of hip-hop, DiCaprio confessed to some recent favorites. "Kendrick Lamar is great, 2 Chainz is great too — don't forget 2 Chainz," he said. "By the way, he's my age — I'm very proud of a guy emerging in the hip-hop world at my age," he said of the MC in his mid-30s.
DiCaprio detailed some of the genres and musicians he likes, observing that his tastes are unexpectedly eclectic. "I've been a huge fan of hip-hop for a long, long time," he said. "That and jazz music, the music of the '40s, and Stevie Wonder."
In "The Great Gatsby," DiCaprio reunites with director Baz Luhrmann, who is no stranger to genre-hopping, having made "Romeo and Juliet" and "Moulin Rouge." DiCaprio observed that both "Gatsby" and his previous film, "Django Unchained," not only feature a soundtrack comprised of a variety of musical genres, but are indicative of a change in cultural consciousness. The '20s-set "Gatsby" was scored by Jay-Z, while the slavery-era "Django" features Rick Ross on the soundtrack.
"The last two films that I've done have been period pieces infused with hip-hop," he said. "So it's really cool that these directors take that chance, and I think it really connects with audiences today.
"I think it sort of seamlessly meshes into the film in a way that's almost startling," he continued. "You don't feel like you're watching something from a different era. You're connecting with these people and this time period in a much more subversive way."
"The Great Gatsby" opens in theaters nationwide on May 10.
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