“The Get Down”

The Get Down gives respect to our Hip-Hop culture in a entertaining, intriguing form.A Netflix original series! HipHopUndead breaks down the show in it’s #HipHopIsInfin8 format.

Giving you 8 reasons why you should check the show out. As well as why The Get Down keeps Hip-Hop culture alive. And contributes to this cultures longevity!

  1. Setting

The Get Down takes place during the birth of Hip-Hop culture. The Bronx, 1970’s. Fusing the sound of Studio 5 disco hits and creating samples and breaks from these songs.

You can find actual footage of the rubble left carelessness by city officials. The perfect place for Hip-Hop to be created.

 

2. The 4 elements

The Dee Jay: Probably the most important element because its the one that started it all. You can find the essential part and base for Hip-Hop right here on The Get Down. Just the way the documentary Scratch broke it down. For those who are not familiar with the art of the DJ, be prepared to be amazed!

Break Dancing:  There is a scene where a fight could have broken out. Instead, one of the character’s calls out the opponent to a battle of break dancing. Break dancing was an art form created as the movement to Hip-Hop. It was validation that your song was a hit if the b-boys or b-girls were to break during your set. It also provided a way out of violence and fighting each other. Instead, we  battle each other! Much like the film, breakin

Graffiti: Graffiti has always been controversial art form. Especially during it’s birth. The Get Down documents that. Today it has been accepted, it sits in auctions and exhibitions. During its birth in the  7o’s it was basterized.

For those who remember watching Style Wars, will remember the mayor in that documentary. Mayor Koch. Well he’s in the show! The graffiti writers on this show use the terminology in a very fluent way. It is a huge part of the show. I do wish there was more art being done but it had a strong presence.

Emceeing‘: If it wasn’t for this element, it wouldn’t have gone the places it has. The emceeing in the show is showed in its rawest form. First through pain then poetry. During the show we follow Ezekiel, a poet who struggles with his gifts.

Played by Justice Smith and later on voiced by God’s Son himself, Nas. Emcceing’ is explored during this show as well as the art of storytelling. Much like the Rhyme & Reason documentary.

3. Cast

The Get Down is perfectly cast. Every actor in this show bring’s depth to the table. Most of the main character actors have only been in a few films till now. They execute in a major way.

Jimmy Smits who is famous for 90′ hit t.v. show NYPD Blue is a part of the show. He is most famous now for his role in Sons Of Anarchy and Star Wars. Smits plays a fictional governor who wants to clean the streets and create a fair housing for black and Latinos in New York. At what cost? Smit’s character go’s through great lengths to do that.

Shameik Moore who you might remember this actor from the golden era hip-hop, nostalgia film, Dope. Which was one of my favorite films in 2015, shows up for Hip-Hop again as the character, Shaolin. Yes, i’m sure is a Wu reference.

4. Nas

Nas is attached as an executive producer. He also lends his voice as the older version of Ezekiel. What is great about Nas being attacked is that the art of storytelling is portrayed in a major way thanks to Nas input.

5. Transition From Disco To Hip-Hop

If you’re not sure how Hip-Hop started then look no further. Grandmaster Flash and Dj Kool Herc break it down for you on this show. It sounds odd to say, “if it wasn’t for disco, soul and jazz. Hip-Hop would not be around” But its true. The Get Down show just that. Check out GrandMaster Flash talking about that in his own words below.

6. History

The Get Down speaks on the rich history that most are not aware of. At the same time its entertaining. Most casual fans or onlookers of Hip-Hop will be amazed at its roots.

Most written rhymes are obviously modern written but some Get Down fans will do research. As a Hip-Hop head, i’m excited to see this show recruit new fans to Hip-Hop. 

7. Comic Book references

In The Get Down, the character Ra-Ra is fascinated with comic books. Just as much as HipHopUndead does! I always felt this was a non talked sub element, comic books. In the areas where people need to escape, daydreaming and fantasy take you to other places. Cartoons and comic books offered that escape.

Ra-Ra explains to his crew that “we need to unlock our super powers” Finding their niche that separates them from the rest. Hip-Hop and comic books help individuals be themselves. Comic books helped certain emcees to embrace their alter ego’s.

the get down
Credit: Hip-Hop Family Tree
hip-hop-26-teaser
Credit: Hip-Hop Family Tree

Props to The Get Down for including comic books into the show!

8. Kung Fu

Back in the 70’s the only people of color in theaters were Jim Kelly and Bruce Lee. There was definitely blaxploitation films but Kung-Fu flicks were where it was at! This is why Kung-Fu is embedded in The Get Down. Bruce Lee broke into Hollywood and thrived.

The Rza is a big fan of this genre. If you have ever listened to a Wu-Tang album, you probably heard the samples in these records. We all know how influential Wu was!

Kung-fu is definitely a sub element of Hip-Hop. It’s a part of the culture.

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of #HipHopIsInfin8

Please make sure to share, tell a friend and enjoy the rest of your day.

Hip-Hop aint dead, HipHopIsInfin8!