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Filmmakers Tried To Get Kanye West & Phoenix To Collaborate For 'The Bling Ring'

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by Diana Drumm
June 19, 2013 1:10 PM
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Whether you’ve seen “The Bling Ring” or read the film’s track listing, you’ll know that the soundtrack included a few Kanye West tracks. In an interview with PitchforkSofia Coppola and her long-time musical supervisor Brian Retzell revealed that not only did West’s involvement help get the others (Frank Ocean and Rick Ross in particular) to sign on for the ‘Bling’ soundtrack, but that Coppola and Retzell originally had approached West for a much more integral role in the film’s music.

Turns out, Coppola and Retzell had wanted West to be involved in orchestrating the score and work with one of the hottest bands going right now. "Originally, we wanted to bring Kanye West on to work with us. I haven’t worked with a lot of hip-hop artists, and it’s kind of its own universe, in some ways-- but not so much with Kanye," Reitzell explained. "Sofia had met him, and he likes Phoenix [which is fronted by Coppola's husband Thomas Mars], so I was trying to connect Phoenix and Kanye together to do a track. The scheduling was too difficult, though."

Rather than providing new tunes like the Jay-Z did for “The Great Gatsby,” West allowed them to use two tracks from his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. And luckily for Coppola and Retzell, it turned out that once West signs on for something, the rest of the hip-hop world will follow, or at least reconsider. Retzell explained that “when people like Rick Ross were made aware that Kanye was saying yes, then maybe it was cool with them, too,” though Frank Ocean needed more convincing. 

"Frank Ocean had denied the use of 'Super Rich Kids'-- he just has a blanket denial on anybody licensing his music for films," Reitzell said. "The label said no, and I had to go through a friend to get to his managers. Sofia cut up a trailer-like video from the movie to send to him, and he agreed. It’s cool because we’re putting the soundtrack out on vinyl, and I don’t think 'Super Rich Kids,' and many of these tracks, have ever been released on vinyl before."

But even in this case, Coppola suspects, “I have a feeling Kanye put in a good word for us.”

Moral of the story, if you want some A-list hip hop talent, get West on-board. If you want to see how West’s involvement turned out, “The Bling Ring” is currently in limited release, but don’t worry, it will be in a theater near you by June 21st. In the meantime, you can read our review here. And oh yeah, what do y'all think of Yeezus?

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