Mamoudou Athie, left, as Grandmaster Flash and Shameik Moore, right, as Shaolin 'Shao' Fantastic.
Photo courtesy of Netflix
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Hip-hop today permeates global sounds and fashions, but the art form was born far from the spotlight in the tumult of the '70s Bronx, then a no-go zone for many outsiders.To piece together the story, Luhrmann enlisted hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash, who said the director consulted him exhaustively on details, down to mastering dance moves of the time.Flash, the first hip-hop artist to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that too many people believed hip-hop began in the '80s when rappers first won mainstream U.S. audiences.Adding a mystical dimension to hip-hop's creation story, another key character is Shaolin Fantastic, an elusive neighborhood martial arts master and artist who sprints through the Bronx on missions for Grandmaster Flash.Mamoudou Athie, a recent graduate of Yale Drama School who plays Flash, shadowed the hip-hop pioneer to learn how to spin.
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