‘The Get Down’ Takes On New York’s 1970s Drug Scene
If you tuned into the second part of Netflix’s The Get Down, which premiered on Friday (April 7), you might have noticed some changes. Aside from resuming one year later in 1978, the South Bronx’s Get Down Brothers come face-to-face with New York’s gritty drug scene.
Documenting social issues of the day was a no-brainer, according to supervising producer and cultural critic Nelson George. “We bring the kids from a kind of innocence into a corrupt adult world. As they mature and they get more ambitious, they end up interacting with the world of disco and the world of hip-hop in a completely different way than when they started. And drugs, drug use and drug-selling was a huge part of the scene in New York at that time,” he explained in a press release.
More than just the home of hip-hop, which expanded beyond the Bronx to become a cultural phenomenon, New York was marked with crime, homelessness, a fiscal crisis and a looming drug epidemic — all captured with intention throughout the Baz Luhrmann series, which George describes as “a show about New York City in the ‘70s” rather than one exclusively about hip-hop.