HIP HOP LEGEND GRANDMASTER FLASH JOINS "THE GET DOWN"
Iconic founding father of hip hop serves as associate producer and advisor on Netflix original series from creator Baz Luhrmann.
Says Luhrmann, "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. 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."
In addition, Mamoudou Athie will portray Grandmaster Flash in the series. Although the young people in the coming-of-age story of The Get Down are fictitious, every now and then, they encounter historical figures along the way, including Flash. Athie, 27, is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and made his stage debut this past season opposite Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub in the Lincoln Center production of The Mystery of Love and Sex.
Background on Grandmaster Flash:
Author and journalist Nelson George, a member of The Get Down writing team, says "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."
Previously announced cast members include Justice Smith ("Ezekiel"), Shameik Moore ("Shaolin Fantastic"), Skylan Brooks ("Ra Ra"), Herizen Guardiola ("Mylene Cruz") and Tremaine Brown, Jr. ("Boo Boo").
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.
Luhrmann will direct the first two episodes and the season finale and serve as executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shawn Ryan and Marney Hochman.
The 13-episode music-driven drama from Sony Pictures Television will debut in all Netflix territories in 2016.