Jaden Smith is one of several young stars featured in Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down. The Netflix series addresses Hip Hop and its South Bronx origins. Jaden is the ideal choice for such series since he has the gift of lyricism.
“It started in the South Bronx—well, different places in the Bronx at different times,” the young star tells Complex of the Hip Hop genre. “Particularly our story The Get Down, 1977 is where we start off.”
The narrative may begin with the birth of a different kind of music but The Get Down addresses more than beats and rhythm. “It’s pretty much all following these kids, fictional kids in the Bronx and it’s telling their story and giving all types of historical facts,” Jaden explains. “It’s also painting the picture of the Bronx crumbling down—the landlords are burning down apartment buildings just to get the insurance. It’s just painting the dystopia of the broken, crumbling down Bronx, on fire at all times.”
Although the challenges of the time were intense, those who created Hip Hop overcame oppression and made beautiful tunes. “A lot of innovative ideas come from struggle,” Jaden shares. “Instead of picking up a gun, they pick up a spray can, a mic, a record, they plug in their turntables. That is when we’re at our peaks of magical realism and when we’re not there we drop below.”
Catch the trailer of The Get Down below!