Netflix is jumping on the “brown wagon” (band wagon) with the recent announcement of a new original series from the streaming service called, “The Get Down.” The thirteen episode hip-hop drama from producer/director Shawn Ryan and Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby), is set in 1970’s.
“The Get Down” is a mythic (aka fictitious) saga of how New York, at the brink of bankruptcy, gave birth to hip-hop (and disco) as told through the lives, stories and music of the South Bronx youth who changed a city, a nation and shaped a global artistic culture of the present day. Luhrmann released a statement saying “I’m thrilled to be working with my partners at Sony and collaborating with a team of extraordinary writers and musicians, many of whom grew up with and lived the story we’ve set out to tell.”
The show attempts to paint a backdrop of “The Get Down” of a broke, broken, violent drug-infested New York City with few signs of hope where a rag-tag crew of vulnerable South Bronx teenagers are armed only with verbal games (MC), free style dance steps (B-Boy/Girl Dancers), magic markers and spray cans (Graffiti). That description may be palatable, however, hip hop authorities know two of the five elements of hip-hop culture, the ever critical DJ and knowledge are absent throughout. Luhrmann says “The Get Down” has been ten years on the making and I say there is time to make it right since the show is not set to premier until early 2016. Hello, Kool Herc, Kool DJ Red Alert, Bambaataa, Cold Crush, Crazy Legs Colon… did your phones ring????