In the new Netflix series “The Get Down,” the rise of hip-hop is threatening the disco culture and creating a clash of generations — and star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II knows exactly why that is.
In a recent interview with TheWrap, the “Get Down” star explained that the emergence of hip-hop and the culture of the genre were essentially the opposite of everything that disco was and stood for.
“Everyone is dancing straight up and their shoulders are broad and their clothes are clean, the shoes are shined, the hats are tilted,” Abdul-Mateen said about disco-club patrons. “It’s all about that elegant type of fashion, very stylish — ‘everyone look at me.’”
On the show, which was co-created by Baz Luhrmann, Abdul-Mateen plays Cadillac, otherwise known as the “disco prince,” who owns the most popular nightclub in the South Bronx in the 1970s. The presence of hip-hop among the youth frustrates the club owner because he has a lot to lose if the genre gains momentum and popularity.
But Abdul-Mateen noted that while disco was about looking pristine and put together, the new hip-hop era brought about a more laid-back energy.
“They’re playing these other records, and they’re scratching the disco records, and they’re dancing on the floor and getting their clothes dirty,” he said. “But it’s a growing energy, and people are interested in that.”
Watch the interview above.