Get Down with The Get Down

shaolin_fan

“Normal kids in their teens want to go and date girls and do mischievous things, your hormones are jumping around, but I stayed in my bedroom in search of something.”  ~ Grandmaster Flash

Wow! I just finished watching part 1 of “The Get Down” series on Netflix the other day and I must say it did it’s job in paying homage to old school Hip-Hop. Netflix has been on a streak with providing us with excellent shows. Apparently, it cost around $10 million an episode! Any true Hip-Hop fan will appreciate this show and I enjoyed it from the beginning to end. My favorite character was, of course, Shaolin Fantastic! His arrogant, kung fu flick aspiring, sword wielding personality was a highlight of the show because it captured many of the elements of emerging Hip-Hop artists and demographic in that era with Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc and Kurtis Blow. It was interesting to hear Nas rapping different intros to the show but I would rather have seen Nas perform them himself instead of a subpar lip syncing actor they had used. Maybe, next season?

Overall, the show was well written as many artists who grew up in that era such as Grandmaster Flash were consulted with to make it as accurate as possible. It tackled many issues around that time to include social inequality with politicians, the struggle of the aspiring artist, confronting the fear of standing out by doing better in society and the black out of New York City in 1977. The dance choreography was fun to watch. I can only imagine what it was like when my parents were out dancing to disco. Well, maybe just my Mom, since she was a party girl back in her day while my Dad was never much of a dancer. Everyone pretty much did an excellent job at acting…I guess even, Jaden Smith. I’m not his biggest fan. But he was good at playing himself, a spacey kid who seemed high into the sky of his philosophies on the world. It was a little awkward to see how his role panned out and I couldn’t help but to laugh to myself towards the end. I don’t want to spoil it but it involves voguing and rainbows. Pause.

Anyways, this show reminded me when I had once wanted to pursue a music career for myself in beat making during the early 2000’s. Hip-Hop had played an essential part into who I am today. Producers such as DJ Premier, Alchemist, Kanye West, 4th Disciple, RZA and Havoc were big influences to me growing up. What prevented me from pursuing that career path was that fear of not succeeding when taking that leap of faith in which can make or break you. The struggle back then in the 70’s is still present now in the late 2000’s. You can even apply it to almost anything you want to do in life but music has always been a tough nut to crack. I truly admire artists that still pursue their dream into putting in blood, sweat and tears towards that level they want to reach. There’s always that wishful thinking… what if I had put more time and effort into what I really wanted to do, how far would I have gotten? Is it too late? What means the most to you in life? Are you following your dream?

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