Baz Luhrmann has brought in hip hop icon Grandmaster Flash as an advisor on The Get Down, the music-driven Netflix series set in the 1970s. Grandmaster Flash will be an associate producer on the 13 episode dramatic series coming to the streaming service in 2016. And while the central characters in The Get Down are fictitious, they will occasionally interact with real people including Grandmaster Flash. Luhrmann has tapped Mamoudou Athie to play Grandmaster Flash in the series.
“I can’t tell you just how much joy and great spirit we are getting from working with some of the founding fathers of the form,” said Luhrmann. “Not only in music, dance and graffiti but the culture of the time in general. The whole team is absolutely thrilled to have Grandmaster Flash on board.”
“Grandmaster Flash is one of the trilogy of Bronx DJs whose innovative approach to music in the 1970s moved dance music from disco into the break beat oriented style that came to be known as hip hop. Along with his peers Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, Flash played for a new generation of dancers, who moved to ‘the get down’ part of records — be they funk, jazz, rock or pop. Flash developed a host of specific techniques that allowed djs to move seamlessly from one break beat to another. Flash’s innovations, developed in his Bronx apartment bedroom, are the bedrock of club spinning, even in the age of [vinyl emulation program] Serato,” explained author and The Get Down writer Nelson George.
Luhrmann’s directing episodes one, two, and 13 as well as executive producing. Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shawn Ryan and Marney Hochman are also on board as executive producers.
The Get Down 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 the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.