Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I am near the end of a desperately needed birthday vacation, but wanted to quickly share my picks from this month – since I was able to catch up during my off days!
This months picks are inspired by, and begin with, the Netflix original series THE GET DOWN, which features a dynamic cast including an MMT fave Shameik Moore (who starred in one of my favorite 2015 films DOPE), Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito, Jaden Smith, and newcomers Justice Smith and Herizen F. Guardiola in the lead roles of Ezekiel (Zeke) and Mylene.
I can best describe “The Get Down” as an unconventional, hip-hop fantasy/musical/drama inspired by the pioneering days of DJing and rapping – with Nasir Jones aka NAS and Grandmaster Flash bringing parts of authenticity to the project as executive producer/narrator and associate producer/adviser respectively, along with noted journalist and hip-hop historian Nelson George who served as supervising producer. And Mamoudou Athie, cast as a young Grandmaster Flash, had me doing a double take the entire episode one of the six part saga – which follows a group of youth as they navigate the rise of the early South Bronx hip hop movement in late 1970s NYC.
Directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, “The Get Down” is very reminiscent of his earlier works, “The Great Gatsby” (2013) and “Romeo and Juliet” (1996), with its creatively modern take on the period. If you have a free day, or a three-day for the approaching Labor Day weekend, with only six episodes this series is an easy and entertaining binge.
Since a couple of films (“Wild Style” included) that would be perfect pairings with the first choice are now distant memories for Netflix, here are a few others that are still streaming that I think would complement it nicely:
- DOPE – and anyone who follows this site knows! This was one of my top three films of 2015, and a February 2016 Netflix pick so refer to my rationale there!
- HIP HOP: THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RHYMES – is a perfect choice for those who prefer a documentary or fact based telling of the art form’s rise from the late 1970’s NYC to the worldwide genre we now know. Featuring artists, such as Grandmaster Caz and Lord Jamar, the 87 minute narrative is a summation of hip-hop’s beginnings to its current global reach and impact.
- THE BOONDOCKS – four seasons worth of witty, hilarious, albeit oft-times vulgar, hip-hop infused animated humor and social commentary. Although its award-winning creator and cartoonist Aaron McGruder left the show during the fourth season, this comedy series – which follows two brothers, Huey and Riley, being raised by their elderly grandfather – remained funny in its uncensored, unafraid and unabashed clowning of any and everything. This pick is definitely not recommended for our more conservative readers, and definitely not for those who are easily offended.
Alright family, those are my choices from the month of August! Back to enjoying my last day and a sixth of bday vacay!
Until next thought, Thomasena