I got 99 problems and “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack is one

Nothing screams 1920’s West Egg like a little bit of Beyonce and Andre 3000. Lets not forget, however, that the upper-class during the Roaring Twenties also jammed to will.i.am while they rode through the streets of New York in their Model T’s. And of course a Long Island backdrop isn’t complete without some beats by Brooklyn native Jay-Z. Yes, nobody knows more about the Valley of Ashes and its surrounding areas pre-Depression quite like Baz Luhrmann, the director of the upcoming adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.”

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting from the director of 1996’s “Romeo + Juliet,” a modern take on Shakespeare’s tragic love story that included everything from pistols to music by Everclear, but I certainly didn’t consider this a possibility. I envisioned Gatsby’s parties to be filled with jovial jazz and obnoxious swing, not jovial Jack White and obnoxious Fergie. At least Luhrmann gave The Bryan Ferry Orchestra a call; I have no idea who they are, but the group’s Wikipedia page says they play Bryan Ferry’s music in a 1920’s jazz style, so there’s that.

The talent and star power is certainly not in doubt here. I love singing Lana Del Rey tunes at the top of my lungs as much as the next guy, and White has been pure Gold since he divorced Meg White and The White Stripes. The rest is a who’s who of modern artists: Florence and the Machine is every wannabe-hipster’s favorite indie group, The xx is a great sleeping aide, and Gotye is now just somebody that I used to know. I’m just afraid Andre 3000 will get in between the power couple of Jay-Z and Beyonce – heavens no!

The film’s buzz single, “Young and Beautiful,” by my girl Lana, is definitely breathtaking, and I could see myself twerkin’ to Beyonce and Andre 3000’s cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” any day of the week, but the thing that irks me is the potential loss of ambience. I can’t see a song titled “100$ Bill” fitting in with “The Great Gatsby,” even if every character in the movie has a wallet full of hundred dollar bills. What we have here is a lame ploy by Jay-Z and Luhrmann to cater a book only AP Lit kids have read to a wider, younger audience. Or maybe it’s just Luhrmann being Luhrmann.

Scores are supposed to go hand in hand with the story’s tone and setting, no? Then why am I getting electronic music in a movie set in a time before the electric guitar? Hans Zimmer would’ve sufficed, but thankfully he’s taking his talents to “Man of Steel.” So instead we get a soundtrack produced by Jay-Z that features a rapping Q-Tip.

Am I just going too hard on Mr. Luhrmann? Does the soundtrack really matter? I guess I won’t be able to answer those questions until I see Nick Carraway and Owl-eyes chat with “Fergalicious” blasting in the background. At least we have performances from Tobey Maguire – lets see how good he is without Kirsten Dunst – and Leonardo DiCaprio – praying for an Oscar win – to look forward to. In the end, it is “The Great Gatsby.” He’s called great for a reason, and for that reason alone, I give you the green light, old sport.