Netflix and Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming musical drama added a legendary voice to oversee the series: Grandmaster Flash. The rapper joined The Get Down as an associate producer and adviser for the 13-episode first season. “I can’t tell you just how much joy and great spirit we are getting from working with some of the founding fathers of the form,” Luhrmann said, via a statement released by Netflix on Wednesday. “Not only in music, dance and graffiti but the culture of the time in general. The whole team is absolutely thrilled to have Grandmaster Flash on board.”
That’s not all: Playing the young Flash will be Mamoudou Athie, the streaming giant announced, one of the handful of non-fictional characters in the show—and one of genre’s seminal figures. “Grandmaster Flash is one of the trilogy of Bronx DJs whose innovative approach to music in the 1970s moved dance music from disco into the break beat oriented style that came to be known as hip-hop,” author and one of the show’s writer Nelson George said.
The 27-year-old Athie joins Justice Smith (“Ezekiel”), Shameik Moore (“Shaolin Fantastic”), Skylan Brooks (“Ra Ra”), Herizen Guardiola (“Mylene Cruz”), and Tremaine Brown, Jr. (“Boo Boo”) in the cast. Luhrmann will direct the first two episodes and the finale. The whole season will be released in 2016.