The Get Down: Part II - Your 2-minute briefing on Netflix's coolest original yet

Disco queens, gangsters and the origins of hip-hop: get up to speed on Baz Luhrmann’s showstopping drama.

Last updated: 08 May 2017 - 08.19am

This insanely extravagant show is jam-packed with toe-tapping records, groovy 70s fashion and a maze of storylines – there’s nothing quite like it on TV. Part two picks up in 1978, one year after the events of part one. Didn’t catch part one? Here’s the lowdown...

What is The Get Down?

Set in a 1970s poverty- and violence-stricken Bronx, The Get Down follows high school student and wordsmith Zeke ‘Books’ Figuero (Justice Smith) on his journey to hip-hop superstardom. He’s joined by his girlfriend, rising disco star Mylene Cruz (Herizen Guardiola) and his group, The Get Down Brothers.

Sounds good, but what’s with the name?

Wondering what a ‘get down’ actually is? It refers to a rhythm break in a song that gets looped over and over by DJs. In 1977, the term ‘hip-hop’ didn’t exist yet, so that’s what Grandmaster Flash called the musical revolution.

Is it fact or fiction?

Although the characters are fictional, The Get Down is very much based on the real-life events leading to the height of disco, the birth of hip-hop and the turbulent times the musical movements were born into (such as the infamous New York City blackout of 1977, which resulted in mass lootings and vandalism).

What else is great about it?

Aside from the addictive soundtrack, director Baz Luhrmann recruited hip-hop trailblazers such as Nas, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Kool Herc as producers to up his credentials and bring the era to life. The hip-hop pioneers even taught the young cast members how to rap and command turntables. There’s no half-job when Baz is running the show.

Meet the characters

Need a quick recap on where we left off with the characters? Here’s a refresher...

Zeke ‘Books’ Figuero

Everyone seemed to find their voice in the part one finale: Zeke is now a budding MC and his Get Down Brothers are on the way to becoming a solidified act. He’s also scored an internship at the World Trade Center, which could be his ticket out of the Bronx and into Yale. But will he have to turn his back on his people (and music career) to get there?

Mylene Cruz

Mylene’s breaking free from her ultra-conservative and controlling pastor father (Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito) and heading down Mylene & the Soul Madonnas’ path to fabulous fame and fortune.

Shaolin Fantastic, The Lady-Killing Romantic (Shameik Moore)

The gangster-turned-DJ is still on a high from winning the get down battle against rival group The Notorious Three, but crime boss Fat Annie keeps pulling him back in with big money for more drug hustling and dodgy dealings.

Dizzee (Jaden Smith)

Jaden Smith is the alien of the group, dropping philosophical one-liners willy-nilly. He returns as the misunderstood graffiti artist who’s exploring his art and sexuality after falling for fellow artist Thor in part one.

The Get Down Part II is available on Netflix now via your BT TV Box. Watching Netflix through your BT TV box is quick and easy. Click here to find out how.


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