Showrunner and exec producer of the series, Cheo Hodari Coker, has repeatedly emphasized that music would be instrumental in setting the tone for “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” describing what he had in mind as “a ’90s hip-hop vibe” with “a lot of different musical appearances.” And if you’ve started binge-watching the series, which premiered on Friday, you’d already have a good sense of this.
Star of the series, Mike Colter, added that the “musicality” of the series would distinguish it from past Marvel Netflix series, saying, “It defines itself through sound that you can feel when you’re watching the scenes, whether it’s something that’s actually a song that they’re playing or actually just the pulse of the music that they choose thematically.” He also shared that the audience would hear familiar songs in the series which, along with the “unique” original score, would create an “urban” and “soulful” feel throughout: “We are in Harlem, so you want to feel like you are around that kind of culture. Harlem has a long, rich culture of music and we want to pay homage to that. We want to make sure that the artists that we use and the artists that we are emulating, the sound that we are using bring you into the feel that you’re uptown.”
Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad composed music for the series, reportedly utilizing a full orchestra for the score, which was conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Also the series features onscreen performances by Faith Evans, Raphael Saadiq, Charles Bradley, The Delfonics, Method Man, and others. Additionally, there are older songs from the likes of Mahalia Jackson and Nina Simone, and some early Wu-Tang Clan tracks.
Coker said that there are plans for a special vinyl soundtrack album for the series, which will be produced by Younge and Muhammad.
In summary, expect to be bobbing your heads as you watch “Marvel’s Luke Cage” which is now available to stream in full on Netflix!
Premiering this morning is the music video for Method Man’s contribution to the sound of “Luke Cage” titled “Bulletproof Love,” which was produced by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Watch it below: