New York City, 1977: a putrefying, crime-ridden metropolis, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and power blackouts; also the setting for director Mr Baz Luhrmann’s first foray into television. The Get Down, the first six episodes of which stream on Netflix from Friday 12 August, celebrates the other side of the urban decay – the cutting-edge creativity that flourished in the Bronx, and the birth of hip-hop. We were lucky enough to see a sneak preview of the series. Here’s why Baz’s beats will hook you in.
Some serious hip-hop heavyweights are on board
Grandmaster Flash, one of the genre’s pioneers, is portrayed on screen with enigmatic panache by a tracksuit-clad Mr Mamoudou Athie, but the real-life DJing legend is also a producer on the show. “When I got the call, he said his name was Baz Luhrmann and he had done a couple of films,” says Grandmaster Flash. “He said he wasn't concerned with my record career and me becoming a star. He wanted to do the organic years. So we met.” Recording artist Nas has written the raps, while Mr Kurtis Blow, DJ Kool Herc and Rahiem have all lent authenticity with their involvement, along with writer Mr Nelson George, a noted hip-hop expert.