Celebrity Interviews

Cast of the Netflix Series “The Get Down” on Bringing New York’s 1970’s Hip Hop History to 190 Countries Around the World

Nelson George, Baz Luhrmann and Grandmaster Flash are bringing 1970’s New York hip hop history to 190 countries through their new Netflix series “The Get Down” which premieres tonight, August 11th. Joining Sway in the Morning, George speaks on the history they brought together with cast members Shameik Moore, Yaya Abdul Mateen and Justice Smith.

Bonding very quickly the cast talks about learning the history of and being mentored by the like of Grandmaster Flash, Lady Pink, Cool Hurc and Nas while preparing for the series. Piecing together disco’s clash with hip hop they showcase what it was like in the Bronx for a kid who loved music. Explaining the different characters that are portrayed they open up about learning about classic hip hop artists they had no idea existed. Citing Kool Moe Dee they rap along to “How Ya Like Me Now.”

With so many amazing stories to tell George speaks on how big it is to be able to bring a show like this countries around the world. With a predominantly black and latino cast he says the story of overcoming is incredibly powerful. Speaking on benefitting from the agreement to help with the show George says even he learned things about the scene that he had no idea existed while putting things together.

Brining in Nas to write the rhymes that the actors rap on the show they each share how learning cadence and rhythm from one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Before taking off Shaq’s son, Myles O’Neil, joins the show to kick a freestyle before Moore and Mateen jump in and try to go off the top.

Watch below and tune into Netflix to watch the first season of “The Get Down” tonight!


Icon of hip-hop culture and a pivotal part of the MTV News team, Sway has been a staple of the music-news arena for more than a decade. From giving Eminem, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac their very first radio airplay on his local show in the mid-’90s to providing television viewers with their first good look at some of today’s hottest celebrities in music, film, fashion and sports. Sway has been there for some of music and the world’s biggest moments.

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