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Jay-Z or Jay-G?
January 14, 2013 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Quiz: Jay-Z Lyric or Line From The Great Gatsby?
posted by book 'em dano (40 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I aced it, and not for really for the reason I'd prefer.

I listen to a lot of Jay Z and have only read Gatsby once.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:58 PM on January 14, 2013


Not only did I recognize all the Jay-Z lyrics, I also completed the verse in my head.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:59 PM on January 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


7 out of 10 for me.
––
"So we beat on"
Jay-Z or Gatsby?
posted by unliteral at 5:02 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yep. Really just confirms my deeply-held belief that Jay Z, apart from the requisite banal club thumper on the album, is a deeply talented writer and lyricist. The fact that he does it all in his head is almost incidental to his genius.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:02 PM on January 14, 2013


I got 100% and I never read the book or listened to any of Jaz-Z's non-singles. The trick is that the Great Gatsby ones sound like those "I am translating hip-hop lyrics into literature-sounding talk."
posted by bleep at 5:07 PM on January 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


lazaruslong: “Yep. Really just confirms my deeply-held belief that Jay Z, apart from the requisite banal club thumper on the album, is a deeply talented writer and lyricist. The fact that he does it all in his head is almost incidental to his genius.”

Er – do any of these quotations seem to evince any great depth of wisdom to you? If anything, this proves to me that the people that F Scott Fitzgerald was writing about were a lot like Jigga.
posted by koeselitz at 5:09 PM on January 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I got 'em all right as well. A lot of of them I recognized. There were some I was kind of iffy on, but guessed right.
posted by delmoi at 5:14 PM on January 14, 2013


Don't know the honorable Jay-Z's work, but recognized the Fitzgeralds, so process of elimination and all.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:16 PM on January 14, 2013


I've never listened to any Jay-Z, but one giveaway is that there are almost no statements about "women" in Fitzgerald's novel. The only one I can think of offhand is "Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply."
posted by grumblebee at 5:20 PM on January 14, 2013


koeselitz: "Er – do any of these quotations seem to evince any great depth of wisdom to you? If anything, this proves to me that the people that F Scott Fitzgerald was writing about were a lot like Jigga."

Mmm, wisdom is a weird word. I don't really know how to answer that. I guess the fact that some people could be confused as to which said what reinforces, for me, that Jay Z is an artist above-the-cut of his peers. Much like F. Scott Fitzgerald's work, I suspect that Jay's will live on for a long time as a star in the sky.

No one's gonna confuse Birdman with Dickens.

But this:

Richard Yates, a writer often compared to Fitzgerald, called The Great Gatsby "the most nourishing novel [he] read...a miracle of talent...a triumph of technique."

Could be reworked pretty easily to describe Jay and, say, Reasonable Doubt.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:38 PM on January 14, 2013


But not The Best of Both Worlds.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:39 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got one wrong. Apparently because I read Gatsby 20 years ago and not because I listen to Jay-Z (I assume I'd have to own a television to know who that is.)
posted by DarlingBri at 5:41 PM on January 14, 2013


Jay-Z is a longtime star and impresario in the rap field, who may not be as well known outside the US? Inside the US he is an enormous celebrity, even to people who don't follow rap.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:44 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Same as DarlingBri, even to the amount of time since I read the book.

(Here's a hint, if you're having trouble: F Scott Fitzgerald could conjugate English verbs).
posted by pompomtom at 5:47 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I think that the similarity is revealing. Two artists talking about the East Coast in a time of cultural upheaval, focusing in particular on vaguely lost people in milieux of party culture and conspicuous consumption...
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:48 PM on January 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I haven't heard much Jay-Z and I haven't read the Great Gatsby, or anything else by the same author. And I still scored 9/10.
posted by aubilenon at 5:49 PM on January 14, 2013


pompomtom, the grammar of African American Vernacular English and Standard Written English are not the same. Jay-Z is perfectly fluent in both; Fitzgerald wasn't, but managed to write just fine nonetheless.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:50 PM on January 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


I wrote a couple of "Blank or Blankity-Blank??" comedy quizzes back in my freelance writer days, and you can do this sort of thing with almost anybody if you comb through their quotes enough. Seriously, you could do Star Wars character or Honey Boo Boo, and somebody probably already has.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:51 PM on January 14, 2013


GET AWAY FROM MY LIGHT YOU KIDS.
posted by lrobertjones at 5:52 PM on January 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've read The Great Gatsby maybe five times. And I've seen Jay-Z perform live. 4/10.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:53 PM on January 14, 2013


I haven't read Gatsby in 25 years (and, to be honest, probably only read the Cliff Notes then). I also couldn't recognize a Jay-Z song, or his face, to save my life. I got them all right just by reasoning.

I know this is supposed to make me feel a certain type of smugness, but I'm not sure which. If someone could help me out, I'd appreciate it.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:53 PM on January 14, 2013


Netflix streaming has The Great Gatsby (1974, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow)
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:54 PM on January 14, 2013


I know this is supposed to make me feel a certain type of smugness, but I'm not sure which. If someone could help me out, I'd appreciate it.

"How great is it, how comforting about the fundamental humanness we all share, that across oceans and generations we seem to have artists from wildly different places, cultures and backgrounds who have similar observations to make about us all. Truly, if we have this much in common, if we have to work so hard to evince our differences, how much war and hate can there be left in the world?"
posted by mhoye at 6:06 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Netflix streaming has The Great Gatsby (1974, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow)"

That's an underrated movie. It gets knocked for being faithful to its source material to a fault, but I'd argue that's better than the Baz Luhrmann atrocity that will soon be inflicted upon us. (Still recovering from my Moulin Rouge trauma. That thing was like spending a few hours locked in a trunk with a theater kid on speed.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:07 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Great Gatsby is something that I read in high school when I really didn't care about it. I picked it up much later in life, expecting to be re-unimpressed, and I fell in love with the writing. Try it again, if you read it in high school! It's great.

I love it when I am prejudiced against things because they're universally hyped and praised, because I am apparently an elderly hipster, and then surprised by how much I like them (also happened with 2001: A Space Odyssey).
posted by theredpen at 6:10 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not knowing who a popular music star is or what their music sounds like was once a point of pride for me, but now it is something that I feel a bit of embarrassment about, especially if I already happen to have an internet directly in front of me. I find that doing a bit of research, no matter how quick, at worst opens me up to lines of conversation and to understanding jokes I wouldn't have gotten, and at best introduces me to some fun music that I genuinely enjoy.


I got 8/10.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:13 PM on January 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


"How great is it, how comforting about the fundamental humanness we all share, that across oceans and generations we seem to have artists from wildly different places, cultures and backgrounds who have similar observations to make about us all. Truly, if we have this much in common, if we have to work so hard to evince our differences, how much war and hate can there be left in the world?"

That's from Watch The Throne, right?
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:17 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read Gatsby—very much against my will—in high school. I remember very little, except a scene where he reaches out longingly on a dock, and wondering how they'd do that in a movie. I've listened to Jay-Z and remembering thinking it was okay, but I couldn't name a single song right now. So it's fair to say I remembered none of the quotes directly. I missed two. My approach was simply that Gatsby would have been too classy to ever mention money at all. From that you can deduce what you need to classify correctly.
posted by jeffamaphone at 6:33 PM on January 14, 2013


I got most of them wrong, which disturbs me. I read Great Gatsby and grew up on the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound. I haven't listened to any Jay-Z. I consider the Luhrman movie an affront, all flash and no substance.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:39 PM on January 14, 2013


I consider the Luhrman movie an affront, all flash and no substance.

So you've seen it then?
posted by incessant at 6:48 PM on January 14, 2013


I've got 99 problems, but Nick Carraway ain't one of them. (Hit me!)
posted by 4ster at 7:16 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


damn! I got one wrong....oh well. I have never listened to Jay-Z (should I?) and I have not read the Great G in a loooooong time...
posted by supermedusa at 7:17 PM on January 14, 2013


Here's a hint, if you're having trouble: F Scott Fitzgerald could conjugate English verbs

Yeah, I haven't listened to Jay-Z in years and I didn't recognize the lyric, but it was a poor selection for a quiz like this because of the obvious grammar. But I suppose there could be typos in Gatsby. Nevertheless . . .
posted by The World Famous at 7:18 PM on January 14, 2013


jeffamaphone: ". My approach was simply that Gatsby would have been too classy to ever mention money at all. "

If you grew up with holes in your zapatos, you'd celebrate the minute you was havin' dough.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:21 PM on January 14, 2013


I consider the Luhrman movie an affront, all flash and no substance.

So you've seen it then?


I've seen most of his other movies, saw the trailer for this, and talked to a few random people involved in it. I enjoy Luhrman's sensibility but he has no sense of seriousness, and he's not American enough to adapt a Great American Novel.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:26 PM on January 14, 2013


"Netflix streaming has The Great Gatsby (1974, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow)"

That's an underrated movie.


It is underrated. The film is almost 2 1/2 hours long but you don't really see the main star for the first half hour and yet it's not a cheap stunt; it's character development. I can't think of a recent film that does that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:42 PM on January 14, 2013


Here's a hint, if you're having trouble: F Scott Fitzgerald could conjugate English verbs

Yeah, but Jay Z can conjugate Beyonce, so your argument is invalid.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:33 PM on January 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Jay Z is immensely talented. Just not as talented as Kanye. But seriously, give Jay Z a listen. He's great.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 11:42 PM on January 14, 2013


Shit, Hovah IS Gatsby, right down to having been a professional criminal at the beginning of his career in order to finance his climb up the social ladder.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:45 PM on January 14, 2013


I don't know who Fitzgerald is nor would I recognize his face but I got all of these right because whoever he is he cannot find written meter to save his life.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:32 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


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