Who do you call when you want to whimsically tell the story of hip-hop’s rise during the final days of disco in the South Bronx? If you’re Netflix and you’re intent on keeping the victories coming, you tap Baz Luhrmann and Nas. The Get Down, a musical drama series starring Shameik Moore and Justice Smith, takes a deep and decidedly Luhrmann-esque look at 1977 New York with original music and production duties from Nas himself and the great Grandmaster Flash.
“From his very first and magnificently original steps on the world stage with Strictly Ballroom to his most recent with The Great Gatsby, Baz conjures worlds we may not recognize initially, but once there, realize they are infused with the same dreams of every person—to belong, to matter, to live life to its fullest,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to support Baz, Catherine [Martin] and Paul [Watters] and their team in their quest to illuminate those same dreams through the artists who came of age in the cauldron of the Bronx in the late 1970s.”
Luhrmann is directing the bulk of the series’ first batch of episodes, which also stars Jaden Smith, Herizen Guardiola, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Skylan Brooks, Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito, Tremaine Brown Jr., and more. Peep the official synopsis below, because synopses are fun:
The one-hour, 13-episode drama from Sony Pictures Television will focus on 1970s New York City – broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them – except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of theSouth Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.
The first half of The Get Down, comprised of 6 must-see episodes, hits Netflix Aug. 12 all over the world.