5. If you didn’t like Glee or hate the stereotypical ghetto characters found on Empire, Baz Luhrmann‘s new Netflix series is a happy medium. Anyone familiar with his big budget productions like The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! won’t be surprised that The Get Down includes exciting musical performances that bring back the feel of an era – this time 1970’s New York. Rumored to be one of Netflix’s most expensive shows, you can see where the money went. The look and feel of the Bronx in 1977 as Hip Hop evolves and Disco dies is captured on a level never seen before on TV. Told through the eyes of a group of artistic teens, we have a front seat to the poverty, violence and music that defined the 70″s in Black urban NYC.
4. The creators do a good job conveying how the three pillars of Hip Hop (B Boying, Graffitti and DJ’ing) emerged during one of the most turbulent times in NYC’s history. We watch as the talented Shaolin Fantastic, played by Dope’s Shameik Moore, learns the art of DJ’ing from the legendary Grandmaster Flash (a producer of the show), played by actor Mamadou Athie, who is the spitting image of Flash in his heyday. The process of using two turntables and a microphone to turn the sweet spot of an old record into a brand new groove is captured perfectly here.
3. Actor Justice Smith plays Ezekiel, who is taken under Shaolin’s wing, learns the art of writing rhymes as he deals with the everyday dangers and problems that faced a mixed race kid in the Bronx. After losing his parents and being forced to live with family, watching Zeke find his voice on the mic is extremely rewarding. With all lyrics written by Nas, we get lyrically detailed soundscapes that paint a perfect picture like few other MC’s can create.
2. Stock footage from the ’70s is used often along with elaborate production design to transport you into NYC in the 70’s. The writing has real-world goings on like Ed Koch running for Mayor and how “The Blackout” during the summer gave birth to DJ crews around the city after wide spread looting. It really is amazing to see how bad NYC was at that time and how the birth of Hip Hop was born among chaos on levels rarely seen in a major city in America.
1. This show is about music and you can say what you want about some of the performances by the actors, but the soundtrack to this show is a must have. With input from Hip Hop historians like Nelson George, pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and legends like Nas, you can appreciate the musical production for their performances. The music selection is a superb mix that adds to the visuals leaving Netflix’s The Get Down must watch TV.