Nas surveys the excitement and danger of 1977 Bronx in the latest teaser for director Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix original series, The Get Down. “It was maximum crime,” the rapper recalls. “We had to rumble with rivals on the rubble while buildings around us would crumble.” The brief, frantic clip bounces from DJ-spinning parties to violent confrontations.
The Get Down traces the birth of hip-hop – and the simultaneous rise of disco and punk within the New York art scene – while following a group of young musicians, graffiti artists and dancers. The show stars Jaden Smith, Shameik Moore (Dope), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy) and a crew of young newcomers, including one Luhrmann discovered “rhyming in the subway in the Bronx,” as he recently told an audience at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The show’s narrator – a rapper played by Daveed Diggs – will deliver rhymes written by Nas, whom Luhrmann called a “huge creative force in the production.” The director also recruited a handful of hip-hop “founding fathers” to serve as advisors on the series. Grandmaster Flash, played by Mamoudou Athie on the show, is an associate producer; Kurtis Blow, Kool Herc and the Furious Five’s Rahiem also contribute.
The series’ first six episodes will hit Netflix on August 12th. The first Get Down trailer, released in January, previews the eclectic action with shots of stage performances, nightclub shootouts and artists honing their crafts. “The pale-faced media tells us we’re all going to hell,” the narrator says. “But maybe we just the first ones to light the fire. I’m trying to snuff it out, but that’s like oxygen to a flame.”