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The Get Down

If It Wasn't For The Bronx: 'The Get Down' Places Importance On The Origin Of Hip-Hop

The Get Down takes us back to the essence of hip-hop.

Circa 1977, The Bronx was a war zone. In the midst of a community characterized by drugs that permeated nightlife, gangs that lurked even in broad daylight and poor infrastructure that set the poverty-stricken borough ablaze, a ghetto let out its piercing cry and hip-hop was born.

Renowned film director Baz Luhrmann—whose lily-white background initially drew feelings of skepticism when we heard about his working project centered on The Bronx during a culturally significant era—cracks open the vault of hip-hop's birthplace in his Netflix original The Get Down, a fictional series that chronicles hip-hop's first steps through the eyes of South Bronx teens Ezekiel Figuero (Justice Smith) and Kipling brothers Dizzee (Jaden Smith), Ra-Ra (Skylan Brooks) and Boo-Boo (Tremaine Brown Jr.).

Ezekiel's pen game is mighty, but the lovesick poet isn't ready to use his riveting voice to influence his community just yet. He has a more pressing matter on his mind—to make Mylene Cruz (Herizen Guardiola) his girl. Mylene, unlike her aspiring boyfriend, is laser-focused on crossing the East River in hopes of becoming a disco singer like her idol Misty Holloway, even if her father is a radical pastor who is hell-bent on slaughtering her dream. South Bronx political champion Francisco "Papa Fuerte" Cruz (Jimmy Smits), on the other hand, is set on flipping the humdrum narrative of urban youth like his niece, Mylene, in an untwisted agenda rooted in rejuvenating his home base.

While Ezekiel is Mylene's biggest supporter, he isn't too fond of her master plan to get her demo in the hands of DJ Malibu at popular nightspot Les Inferno. In a grand demonstration of love, however, he concedes into doing everything in his power to see her win a dance contest that will set her goal in motion.

In the late '70s, Bronx teens weren't afraid to fight—or kill—to get their hands on a sought-after record. Ezekiel boldly enters this ring on Mylene's behalf, putting his life in danger while simultaneously pivoting toward his destiny. After crossing paths with the elusive Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore) during his tumultuous mission, Ezekiel and his crew of best friends are thrust into the world of the The Get Down, where breakdancing, deejaying and emceeing collide. When the wordsmith blesses the mic for the first time, what happens next will not only shift the future of The Bronx, but will revolutionize the entire world.

Several factors play into the authenticity of The Get Down. To start, over half of the film was shot directly on the streets of the Boogie Down, but beyond the surface, Luhrmann relied heavily on hip-hop pioneers like DJ Kool Herc and DJ Grandmaster Flash to guide him as he maneuvered through disco's fleeting reign that gave way to hip-hop's inevitable trek from the underground to center stage. His collaboration with executive producer Nas is also a winning move that pours through Ezekiel, considering the rap heavyweight is the mastermind behind the protagonist's original bars and verses of poetry.

What's most transparent, yet refreshing is the director's decision to recruit raw talent for the project such as Harlem teen Tremaine Brown Jr.(Boo-Boo), 15, who he discovered rapping on the subway. These fresh faces may be breaking new ground on the small screen, but they aren't amateurs at their craft. Skylan Brooks' (Ra-Ra) comedic timing is first class, Herizen Guardiola's (Mylene) powerhouse vocals command full attention, and Justice Smith's (Ezekiel) A1 delivery warrants a second listen, because you'll probably drown him out with finger snaps the first time.

If The Get Down premiere is a trustworthy indication of what's to come as the series unfolds, then it promises to leave a lasting impression on its audience much like its muse, hip-hop, did on the world. Taking the story of rap culture's elementary years to the masses may be long overdue, but it's a tale that never loses value much like the timeless records it gave us.

The Get Down will make its Netflix debut on Friday, Aug. 12.

 

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Christina Milian Provides All The Feels In Trailer For Netflix Romcom 'Falling Inn Love'

Netflix is keeping up their strong rollout of Romcoms with Falling Inn Love an artisanal love story of sorts starring Christina Milian.

Milian stars as San Francisco city girl (Gabriella Diaz) who finds her self at the bottom of her wine glass after her design firm folds. On a whim she finds herself entering a New Zealand countryside "Win an Inn" contest. It is just her luck when she is thousands of feet in the air and arriving in thigh-high boots and designer duds as the winner to The Bellbird Valley Farm neighborhood Inn.

She becomes seemingly disappointed that the advertised Inn has a deteriorating exterior, overgrown weeds, useless appliances, and a meddling goat that prances throughout the place. Trying to adjust to her new life, the Cali-girl is quickly introduced to a Kiwi heartthrob, contractor, and volunteer firefighter Jake Taylor (Adam Demos).

Eager to sell the property Diaz immediately teams with Taylor to renovate the space but once it is fixed and flipped,  she finds herself hesitant to leave the Inn she has taken pride in, her newfound beau, and the inviting community that stood by her side.

The Roger Kumble directed film is set to premiere on Netflix (Aug. 29) also staring the likes of Anna Jullienne, Claire Chitham, Blair Strang, Jonathan Martin, William Walker, Daniel Watterson, and Simone Walker.

The film continues their push in romcoms. Some notable Netflix gems in love include Someone Great (Gina Rogriguez, LaKeith Stanfield), To All The Boys I've Loved Before (Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish) and the hilarious Always Be My Maybe with Ali Wong, Randall Park and Keanu Reeves.

Watch the full trailer below.

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Selena Mural To Be Placed In Late Singer's Texas Neighborhood

A new mural of Selena was unveiled in the late singer’s neighborhood of Molina in Corpus Christi, Texas, The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports. The artwork was made by New York-based artist San Singueza and covers an original mural painted by students of nearby West Oso High School in 1995.

The revamped mural features three different images of the late singer, each painted in watercolors with the phrase, “The goal isn’t to live forever … the goal is to create something that will,” alongside Selena’s signature. This project was reportedly financed by the singer's family.

 

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A new Selena #mural was unveiled in #corpuschristi Read about it and watch it go up by clicking the link in our bio. 📷 @rachel.clow / @callertimes : #selenaquintanilla #selena #selenas

A post shared by Corpus Christi Caller-Times (@callertimes) on Jul 30, 2019 at 1:19pm PDT

The old painting, which featured a picture of the singer with the phrase, “Always In Our Hearts,” began to show signs of discoloration. Residents of the area pointed out that the 23-year-old portrait needed a makeover.

“Having to see it wear down after all the years,” said Eric Lee Tunchez, a resident who lives around the corner where Selena grew up. “It saddened me and made me want to do something about it.”

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Mario Lopez Issues Apology For Remarks About Parenting Transgender Kids

Mario Lopez has apologized for his comments towards the parenting skills of transgender children, calling them ignorant and insensitive.

On Wednesday (July 31) the former Extra co-host released a statement to Variety and People, how he now has a deeper understanding of his comments. “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he said. “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

Lopez appeared on The Candace Owens Show where they talked about a so-called trend of celebrities allowing their children to "pick their gender." Both were against the idea of it with Lopez calling the line of parenting "dangerous" and "weird," and cited a three-year-old as an example.

“Look, I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong,” he said. “But at the same time, my God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way, or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then — ‘Okay, well then you’re going to be a boy or a girl,’ whatever the case may be. It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on.”

Many have urged Lopez and many others to inquire education about transgender children as well as understanding the difference between sexuality and gender.

"Medical and psychological experts and parents of children who are transgender have long discredited the ideas that Mario Lopez shared last month,” GLAAD told PEOPLE in a statement. “The real ‘dangerous action’ is when someone with a public platform uses bad science to speak against a marginalized and vulnerable group of children. We spoke with Extra and it is clear that the showrunners do not support or share his view. They will address this issue on the show tonight. Lopez clearly needs a primer on trans issues. We reached out to his team to see if and how he will correct the record.”

Medical and psychological experts, and parents of children who are transgender, have long discredited the ideas that @MarioLopezExtra shared. The real dangerous action is when someone with a public platform uses bad science to speak against a vulnerable group of children. https://t.co/kz2pEMWTBm

— GLAAD (@glaad) July 31, 2019

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