In 1977, Hip-Hop was in its infancy. The Bronx, New York, with its project buildings and busy streets, served as its cradle. The culture was nurtured by fast-talking hustlers, and energetic youth with something to prove to the world. There have been many depictions of Hip-Hop culture on the television and in the movies. It has spread across all genres of music, but now more than ever the story of Hip-Hop’s beginning needs to be shared. Netflix’s new original series, The Get Down give shares a story of how Hip-Hop was introduced to most young people during the 70’s.
The Get Down takes place during a time where disco was still king and Hip-Hop was extremely underground. The show follows a group of high school sophomores as they try to figure out life in the Bronx and use Hip-Hop to find self-identity. The lead character Ezekiel (Justice Smith) is a poet who has the gift of stringing words together. It isn’t until he runs into, a local legend Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore), then he discovers how he can use his poetry to speak out. Zeke and his friends Romi (Jayden Smith) and young graffiti artist, Boo-Boo, Ra Ra, and Mylene end up in some trying situations during a time of change socially, politically and economically. The Get Down is a coming of age and love story not only for the characters but for Hip-Hop as well.
Netflix spent $120 million on The Get Down and the production quality matches the price tag. With Grandmaster Flash, Nas and many other pioneers of Hip-Hop contributing their insight behind the scenes, the show is sure to make Hip-Hop purist proud with the facts being presented. The show incorporates all the elements of Hip-Hop, DJing, rapping, graffiti writing, and b-boying, staying true to the essence. The soundtrack to the show is also great. It’s a mix of disco, hip-hop, and R&B, with some of the cast and artists such as Nas and Miguel created original songs just for the show.
The Get Down is accurate to the times and full of historical references that old school Hip-Hop heads would get right away. The show is also a history lesson for younger Hip-Hop fans that who have fell in love with the culture just like Ezekiel.