The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Filed under Arts, TV & Film Reviews

Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

Netflix's new show, The Get Down.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Press Photo

Press Photo

“All a man has is his word,” says Papa Fuerte (played by Jimmy Smits) in the outstanding new drama series from Netflix, The Get Down. This quote mirrors the struggle of The Get Down Brothers, headed by Ezekiel Figuero (played by Justice Smith) and Shaolin Fantastic (played by Shameik Moore), as a fictional hip hop group in 1970s New York City.

The Get Down (directed by Baz Lurhmann) follows the musical revolution of east coast rap and hip hop. It talks about the shift from disco and the musical and even physical conflict between the two styles. The show blends fiction and history of the 1970s, complete with drug kingpins, turf wars, and music.

The show throws in historical news footage to add to the authenticity and believably of the show. It often uses real events as critical plot elements for the main characters.

It really ties the show together. It makes it feel real.”

— Junior Will Sec

“It really ties the show together.” Junior Will Sec said, “It makes it feel real.”

Some characters themselves are real historical figures as well. Mamoudou Athie plays Grandmaster Flash, the “sensei” to Shaolin, teaching him how to be a DJ. This character is based on the real Grandmaster Flash, Joseph Saddler, a key figure of the hip hop scene during this time period.

Hip hop has changed since then though. The accessibility to recording equipment and the global market have shaped the music into what it is today.

When asked how it had changed, US history teacher Mike Kaul explained, “It was just kids hanging out in Brooklyn, it was more about the gathering.”

This aspect of Hip Hop seems to be lost often with concerned parents and politicians. We often hear bad reviews about the misogyny and violence that is present in much rap music from “Public Enemy” rappers like Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur. We don’t often hear about how hip hop was a cultural revolution as well as a strictly musical one.

Corporate America’s infatuation with rap has increased as the genre’s political content has withered.”

— Journalist Christopher John Farley of Time Magazine

“Corporate America’s infatuation with rap has increased as the genre’s political content has withered,” said journalist Christopher John Farley of Time.

While there is a point to what Farley said about music being run by money, there has never been a better time than now for independent musicians and producers. With the added tool of the internet, the globalization of an album can happen in seconds on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.

With all this accessibility comes plenty of diversity. Origins range from gospel and soul music from Chance the Rapper, to Jewish klesmer from the Yiddish rapper Socalled. While sharing the same form, music and message are completely different between creators.

In The Get Down, the main character, Ezekiel, is surrounded by violence, poverty and hate but he decides to write poetry. He forms his own message based on what he sees and what he wants to see. He doesn’t let the bad things in his life dictate his work.

The Get Down is an amazing story of the underdogs of the Bronx. Their quest is to become the best Hip Hop artists of all time. Grandmaster Flash puts it into words,”If you wanna be a true DJ, conquer your street. Conquer your park. Conquer your neighborhood, conquer your borough. Conquer your city. And the world is yours. So, battle.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop”

  1. Noah Johnson on November 22nd, 2016 8:30 am

    Very informative on how the “Get Down” relates to the hip hop movement. It is well structured article. I like how it switches between the movement and characters and the plot of the “Get Down”.

    [Reply]

The Pony Express intends for this area to be used to foster healthy thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to the standards of the Pony Express and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked, or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet the standards of this publication. The Pony Express does not allow anonymous comments. We require a name and valid email address submitted. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    Soundest festival shows exciting lineup

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    Big fun at Big Thrill Factory

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    Sixth graders suit up for ‘The Lion King’

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    ‘The Fate of the Furious’ kills box office

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    ‘A Cure for Wellness’ receives mixed reviews

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    Live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ box office hit

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    Black Dog Cafe offers diversity of local artist, great food

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    Classic Disney films transcend time

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    ‘Hidden figures’ brings untold true story to life

  • Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop

    Arts

    “La La Land” earns record number of accolades

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School
Netflix original series ‘The Get Down’ popularizes hip hop