The “Jamaicans” on The Get Down
The Get Down on Netflix is a show about the birth of hip hop, set in the South Bronx of the late 1970s. As many know, Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc brought the reggae sound system culture of his homeland to the Bronx, essentially birthing hip-hop culture by fusing the ethos of Jamaican selectors with breakbeats from classic funk records. Considering this connection, and the Caribbean roots of fellow pioneer Grandmaster Flash, who is both a consultant on the show and a character in its storyline, you would think they’d get this part right, but no. There were a few scenes which featured “Jamaicans” and none of them were good. In fact, they were cringeworthy. Overall, The Get Down is a good watch but, in spite of other efforts at authenticity, they dropped the ball with the butchering of the Jamaican accent.