The details about Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down, which we named one of the most anticipated TV shows of 2016, keep getting better. The announcement that Jaden Smith had joined the cast was enough to perk our ears. Then the first trailer for the hip-hop series provided a sneak peak at the colorful aesthetic Luhrmann would bring to the show, which made movies like The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge so visually spectacular. The anticipation for the show keeps growing stronger: Luhrmann said that Nas has been “a huge creative force” on the project.
Luhrmann revealed the legendary rapper’s involvement in the project at a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival, Entertainment Weekly reports. Expanding on some details about The Get Down that aren’t apparent in the trailers, Luhrmann said, “One of the great collaborations is that I’ve been working really closely in creating these rhymes, and he’s a producer on the film, with one of the most iconic voices of the ‘90s and that’s Nas.”
The rhymes that Luhrmann mentioned tread the territory between “pure rap, narration, and sort of Greek chorus comment,” and he went on to emphasize Nas’ vital role in penning a lot of this material. While the team behind the show had reservations about some of the material in the beginning, Luhrmann said the music-driven series now wouldn’t be the same without it.
The Get Down, which premieres on Netflix on Aug. 12, takes place in the South Bronx during the 1970s and centers on the lives of young teens and the genesis of hip-hop.