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‘The Get Down’: How Baz Luhrmann and Flash Recreated Hip-Hop in the Bronx

‘The Get Down’: How Baz Luhrmann and Flash Recreated Hip-Hop in the Bronx

For production designer Karen Murphy and composer Elliott Wheeler, “The Get Down” was a far cry from the fantastical liberties taken with “The Great Gatsby.” Fulfilling Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious vision — recreating the rise of hip-hop in the burned-out wasteland of the late ’70s South Bronx — required a special authenticity. They had to immerse themselves in the revolutionary time and place before mastering “The Get Down,” inspired by hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing legend Grandmaster Flash.

The expensive musical extravaganza (cancelled by Netflix after its first season) was a wild convergence of music, politics, and rebellion. The series not only focused on teens from the South Bronx with larger aspirations than graffiti art, who become “The Get Down Brothers,” but complicated their lives with an unrequited love story, hampered by disapproving parents.

A Bronx Tale

Murphy first took inspiration from the South Bronx photo exhibit, “Seis Del Sur: Dispatches from Home,

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