Weekend Matinee: ‘The Get Down’ on Netflix

Ayanna Harrison | Staff Writer

“The Get Down” returned on April 7 and delved further into the depths of hip-hop’s origins in the Bronx. The show follows one gifted, but torn, Ezekiel Figuero as he navigates life in poverty and attempts to balance his passion for hip-hop with his prospects of attending Yale University one day. The story isn’t at all simple, and in that way, it does hip-hop’s history justice. Especially in the newly released episodes, Ezekiel and his group of friends/emcees navigate the pressures of drug dealing in a way that was common to many young people living in the neighborhoods that birthed the hip-hop genre. In addition to story-lines concerning drug dealing, “The Get Down” offers a window into the disco scene that was in its prime as hip-hop was only beginning. Viewers who are familiar with disco’s history might know that it ended in an sort of anti-black and anti-queer blaze, with people gathering to set fire to disco records. The show makes space for queer representation, not only in disco, but also in early rap music. Especially as hip-hop continues to evolve and move further into the mainstream, “The Get Down” suggests that we might look to hip-hop’s past in order to predict what’s to come.

The second half of ‘The Get Down’ season one was released on Netflix on April 7. All six episodes of the first season are now available online.