‘The Get Down 2’ Is Going Beyond Hip-Hop Into New York’s Gritty Drug Culture


(TIML NEWS) Fans of Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series “The Get Down” are in for plenty of unexpected plot twists and more drama in the latest installment of season one.

Featuring some familiar faces ― including Justice Smith (as Ezekiel), Shameik Moore (as Shaolin Fantastic), Skylan Brooks (as Ra-Ra), Tremaine Brown Jr. (as Boo-Boo), Jimmy Smits (as Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz), Jaden Smith (as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling), Lillias White (as Fat Annie) and Daveed Diggs (as Adult Books) ― the series resumes one year later in 1978, and continues to chronicle a group of musical teens navigating the streets of the South Bronx as they discover the origins of hip-hop.

In contrast to part one of the drama-musical, supervising producer and cultural critic Nelson George says part two of the series shows the teens encountering a new set of challenges, as they’re immersed in New York’s gritty world of ‘70s drug culture.


“We bring the kids from a kind of innocence into a corrupt adult world,” George said in a press release for the show. “As they mature and they get more ambitious, they end up interacting with the world of disco and the world of hip-hop in a completely different way than when they started. And drugs, drug use and drug-selling was a huge part of the scene in New York at that time.”

The year would ultimately be a climactic period for the genre, with hip-hop culture expanding from its origins in the Bronx to additional boroughs in New York.


According to George, it was important to extend the musical narrative into the impact of New York’s social issues.

“When we worked on the show, one of the things we talked about is that it’s not a hip-hop show; it’s a show about New York City in the ‘70s,” George said in the press release.

“I think that the collision of disco and hip-hop ― with hints of new wave, punk, salsa, political corruption, graffiti ― I think that we gave a very panoramic view of New York,” he said, “with music as our way to paint a picture of this incredible city.”