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Grandmaster Flash Explains The Failure Of “The Get Down”…And Most Hip-Hop Films

Grandmaster Flash Wants Afrka Bambaataa, Kool Herc And Himself To Set The Hip-Hop History Straight!

(AllHipHop Features) Grandmaster Flash was not pleased to see “The Get Down” go, but the the pioneering DJ understands why it was unceremoniously cancelled suddenly this year.

"The Get Down" was a collaborative effort sparked by celebrated Australian film director Baz Luhrmann, but also Nas, Pulitzer-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, Rap & R&B Historian Nelson George, Oscar-winner Catherine Martin and even Grandmaster Flash. The wildly expensive Netflix production was set in the 1970's as Hip-Hop took over the streets in The Bronx, New York City, but also included the perilous street games as well. "The Get Down" ended after one season that was broken into two parts.

Flash explains what happened in an exclusive interview with Chuck Creekmur in his old South Bronx stomping grounds.

“He ['The Get Down' creator Baz Luhrmann] made it very clear to me that this is not going to be a documentary. So, the curse is there are so many people that thought the thing ('The Get Down') should be a documentary. If that was gonna be the case, I would have turned it down,” Flash says very candidly, as kids seek playful refuge in Behagen Playground.

The quintessential issue with the show and most other films dealing with the origins of Hip-Hop deal have a much deeper conundrum. The founding fathers, DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Flash aren’t on speaking terms. There is no beef, Flash maintains, but there simply has been no dialogue whatsoever. Kool Herc was recently celebrated by Google and Bambaatta has been M.I.A. since the sensational allegations of sex with underage boy eroded his reputation.

This fragmentation has caused Hip-Hop’s stories to promote false narratives.

“Nobody has the power to do this. And I won’t say no names, but they never walked up to the three (Afrka Bambaataa, Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash) of us and said ‘Let us do this [documentary].’ So ['The Get Down'] kicked off all the things that came after it [but] they are all inaccurate," Flash says. "The three of us are not sitting in the same room at the same time. Lets just put a factor of inaccurate as one. “The Get Down” is inaccurate. All the other films are inaccurate too. If you want to give “The Get Down” the biggest of inaccurate, fine.”

He credits “The Get Down” for pointing eyes to the 1970’s, when the revolutionary genre started whereas a lot of the historical focus has been on the creative explosion of the late 1980's and 90's.

“I think it was wonderful to do and I think it got this whole ball rolling. Until you get the three of us (Afrka Bambaataa, Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash) standing together in a room, where we can tell you what comes out of the horses mouth, all of them are inaccurate," he yelps. "You have to go into our cranium. Maybe before I leave Planet Earth, it can happen."

Grandmaster Flash has been entertaining audiences since the 1970’s and continues to all over the world. He recently started a new multimedia musical experience that re-tells the history of Hip-Hop. He plans to take it over the world in his travels.

Look for the full, comprehensive interview with GMF in the near future on AllHipHop.

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