Netflix has introduced the world to some amazing original series like “Orange is the New Black”, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, and “House of Cards”. This August, Netflix releases yet another potentially addictive show, “The Get Down”. Using hip-hop as a pinnacle focus, this 6-episode season is about five boys from the Bronx who create a rap group in the late 1970s.
Narrated in part by Nas, “The Get Down” stars Justice Smith (“Paper Towns), Shameik Moore (“Dope”), Jaden Smith (“Karate Kid”), Herizen Guardiola, Skylan Brooks (“Southpaw”), and Tremaine Brown Jr.
Hands down, the show explains how an unfamiliar, unpopular music genre shapes culture in New York City’s fifth borough. The 1977 Bronx tells a story of the how the Grandmaster Flashes, the wordsmiths, and the graffiti artists used turntables, poetry, and creativity to give birth to hip hop.
It is a feel good, tremendous tale filled with love and rhymes. But, also, there’s a sweet mix of biographical reality including dirty politics, drugs, and housing depletion.
“The Get Down” has transformed my understanding of the historical greatness of hip hop. I am officially one of those older people who says “they just don’t make music like this anymore.” As the show brings back musical memories, it begs the question: has hip hop and rap evolved or is it completely gone altogether?
After watching season one, it is hard to believe that today’s chart topping hip hop/rap songs were created on the foundations mapped out in the Bronx.
Jaden Smith is one of many breakout stars in this series as Get Down Brother Dizzee. Will Smith’s youngest son is the Fresh Prince of South Bronx in “The Get Down.” His eccentric character is almost a reflection of his actual social depiction. Between the strange clothes and queer demeanor, Jaden Smith celebrates his diverse character with spunk, sensitivity, and an ironic dose of reality.
Thank you, Netflix, for having the audacity to test the entertainment waters. Also, thank you for allowing the freedom to watch whenever I choose. Television and movie limits are obsolete with this streaming service. For less than HBO or any other premium channel, a Netflix subscriber has access to more. It’s the best $8.99 spent.
“The Get Down” is the summer’s best new scripted series. My family and I finished it in one day and, like all good Netflix originals, we have to wait a whole year for season 2.