The Get Down

The Get Down is an American musicaldrama television series created by Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis. It debuted on Netflix on August 12, 2016, and was cancelled after the first season.[4][5][6]

American musical drama television series
This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (October 2021)
The Get Down
Created by
Narrated by Nas
Country of origin United States
Original language English
No. of seasons 1 (2 parts)
No. of episodes 11 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production location New York City
Running time 53–93 minutes
Production companies
Budget $120 million[1][2]
Original network Netflix
Picture format 4K (Ultra HD)[3]
Original release August 12, 2016 (2016-08-12) 
April 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the series is set in the South Bronx region of New York City in the late 1970s; its title refers to parts of disco and R&B records that could be repeated using multiple turntables and were enjoyed most by dancers.[7] A five-episode second part concluding the series was released on April 7, 2017.[8] On May 24, 2017, Netflix announced that the series had concluded after Part 2 and that there would be no more seasons.[9]

. . . The Get Down . . .

The series is set in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York City, and follows the rise of hip-hop and disco music through the eyes of a group of teenagers. Each episode begins with MC Books, a famous artist who raps his story to a large crowd during a concert in 1996. The short rap serves both as a recap of previous episodes, and as a setup of the events of the next. Each episode is also intercut with real footage and newscasts from the 1970s.

Part 1 begins in 1977 with Zeke (young MC Books), a young poet who lives with his aunt Wanda following the death of his parents, he then goes on to meet Shaolin Fantastic, a graffiti artist and aspiring DJ. The two band together with Zeke’s friends to become “The Get Down Brothers”, with a dream to become successful music artists and take over the city. Mylene, Zeke’s long-time love, dreams of becoming a disco singer and leaving the Bronx but faces obstacles such as her religious father. Alongside this, the show depicts various gangs and gangsters of the area, especially Fat Annie and her son Cadillac, and observes the poverty and violence faced by those living in the Bronx at the time.

Part 2 is set in 1978 and sees the group members facing adulthood and their futures in the music industry. Zeke is faced with an ultimatum: love or music. Although Mylene is his first love, music is his love as well. Mylene is moving up in the music industry and wants Zeke to be there but doesn’t think he is putting in the effort. Shaolin and the gang focus on making music and making money. Shaolin gets a car with a dead body in the trunk. It shakes the boys and makes them second guess their relationship with Shaolin. Shaolin Fantastic calms them down, explaining that everything is going to be alright. They calm down but remain worried about Cadillac and his business with Shaolin.

  • Justice Smith as Ezekiel (“Zeke”) “Books” Figuero: A smart, resourceful teen, brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love, and determined to make his mark in the world. He is in love with Mylene, but her desire to leave the Bronx hinders their relationship.
  • Shameik Moore as Curtis “Shaolin Fantastic”: A child of the streets; thrill-seeking, unpredictable, and eccentric, but above all, enigmatic. He is distrustful of Mylene and sees her as a distraction to Ezekiel.
  • Herizen F. Guardiola as Mylene Cruz: A tenacious girl with an incredible voice who dreams of becoming a disco star, a dream that is far outside the realm of her fiercely religious background. She loves Ezekiel, but fears that he won’t ever leave the Bronx.
  • Skylan Brooks as Ronald “Ra-Ra” Kipling: A loyal, respected, and protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight; he’s the voice of reason beyond his years.
  • Tremaine Brown Jr. as Miles “Boo-Boo” Kipling: A mechanically minded kid who is an irrepressible 40-year-old in a 14-year-old’s body.
  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Clarence “Cadillac” Caldwell: A “fly gangster”, prince of the disco world, and son of the owner of the most notorious after-hours nightspot in the Bronx.[10]
  • Jimmy Smits as Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz: A South Bronx political boss who delivers services to his constituents that the city has failed to provide, such as jobs, housing, and healthcare.[11]
  • Jaden Smith as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling : The most artistically minded of the Kipling brothers, Dizzee is a graffiti artist who tags as Rumi 411.
  • Daveed Diggs as adult Ezekiel “Mr. Books” Figuero: He rap-narrates the series. His rapping voice is dubbed by hip-hop artist Nas.
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Pastor Ramon Cruz: Papa Fuerte’s brother and Mylene’s father. He is the charismatic head of the local Pentecostal church who attracts a flock of followers with his fiery sermons and firm, steady leadership.[12]
  • Stefanée Martin as Yolanda Kipling: Sister of Boo-Boo, Dizzee, and Ra-Ra. One of Mylene’s best friends and a member of the Soul Madonnas.
  • Shyrley Rodriguez as Regina: Another of Mylene’s best friends and a member of the Soul Madonnas. Outrageous and rebellious, she is in an abusive relationship with Little Wolf.
  • Mamoudou Athie as Grandmaster Flash: Hip-hop recording artist and DJ. In real life, he is considered to be one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing. In this TV series, he serves as a mentor for Shaolin Fantastic as well as the rest of the Get Down Brothers.[13]
  • Karen Aldridge as Adele Kipling: Mother of Yolanda, Boo-Boo, Dizzee and Ra-Ra.
  • Kevin Corrigan as Jackie Moreno: A record producer. In the past Moreno produced many hit records, but years of hard drug abuse and alienating others in the record industry have stalled his career.
  • Brandon J. Dirden as Leon: Wanda’s boyfriend.
  • Michel Gill as Herbert Gunns: New York City Council member, businessman, and supporter of then-Congressman Edward Koch.[14]
  • Zabryna Guevara as Lydia Cruz: The wife of pastor Ramon Cruz and the mother of Mylene.[15]
  • Ron Cephas Jones as Winston Kipling: Father of Yolanda, Boo-Boo, Dizzee, and Ra-Ra.
  • Judy Marte as Wanda: Ezekiel’s aunt.
  • Evan Parke as Wolf
  • Salma Salinas as Angela Cruz: Daughter of pastor Ramon Cruz and Lydia Cruz and sister of Mylene.[16]
  • Sal Rendino as Stanley Kelly.
  • Yolonda Ross as Ms. Green: The caring-but-tough English teacher who nurtures the potential in her students and advocates for them to pursue their talents.[17]
  • Tory Devon Smith as Little Wolf: Regina’s abusive boyfriend and one of the neighborhood’s drug dealers.
  • Lillias White as Fat Annie: Owner of the notorious Les Inferno club, mother of Cadillac, and boss of the local crime family. She is a sexual predator, and is known to be sexually abusive, specifically towards Shaolin. In part 2, it is revealed by Shaolin that she sexually abused her son, Cadillac, as well.
  • Frank Wood as Ed Koch: real life U.S. Congressman from New York’s 18th district and Democratic candidate for mayor of New York in 1977. Koch has a tough stance against crime (particularly graffiti) and wants to restore public safety back to New York City, so he reluctantly allies himself with Papa Fuerte to help in his campaign in the Bronx.
  • Lee Tergesen as Inspector Moran: A police inspector who is on Fat Annie’s payroll. He is responsible for Boo-Boo’s arrest at the end of Part 2. He is nicknamed Moach by Cadillac.
  • Eric Bogosian as Roy Asheton: Record executive and president of Marrakech Star, a disco label, responsible for the success of Donna Summer and Misty Holloway.
  • Eric D. Hill Jr. as DJ Kool Herc: Real life DJ who is credited with originating hip-hop music in the early 1970s in the Bronx. He serves as a mentor for the Notorious Three (The Herculoids).
  • Noah Le Gros as Thor: A graffiti artist who lives a free lifestyle, and Dizzee’s love interest.[18]
  • Qaasim Middleton as DJ Big Planet: Member of the Notorious Three (the Herculoids), the mortal enemies of the Get Down Brothers.
  • RayJonaldy Rodriguez as Silent Carlito: Another member of the Notorious Three.
  • Khalil Middleton as MC Luke Skywalker Cage: Another member of the Notorious Three.
  • Julia Garner as Claudia Gunns: Daughter of Herbert Gunns.
  • Barrington Walters Jr. as Doo-Wop: Street-hardened roughneck drug dealer.
  • Jeremie Harris as Shane Vincent: Mylene Cruz’s manager.
  • Okieriete Onaodowan as Afrika Bambaataa. Real life hip-hop DJ and recording artist, and founder of the Universal Zulu Nation.
  • Jamie Jackson as Robert Stigwood. Real-life Australian-born British-resident music entrepreneur, film producer and impresario, best known for managing Cream and the Bee Gees, theatrical productions like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and film productions including the extremely successful Grease and Saturday Night Fever.

. . . The Get Down . . .

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. . . The Get Down . . .

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