As it turns out, playing a classic Wu-Tang Clan song right from the jump served as a mission statement for the whole show: showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker and music supervisor Adrian Young have recruited Method Man, A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammed, ASAP Ferg, and many more to give Luke Cage‘s soundtrack the boom-bap hip-hop soundtrack that Luke Cage’s imposing, dominant presence so clearly requires. Given that our titular hero is from New York City, there is so much rich history for the show to dive into, spanning decades of great music from every borough.
In the above video, Coker, Young, and Method Man discuss just how deeply music runs in the veins of Luke Cage, explaining that even the episode titles are hip-hop references (specifically, they are named after songs by the legendary hip-hop duo Gang Starr). “It was about getting that hip-hop foundation and making sure those drums were as big as day,” Ali Shaheed Muhammed says. The idea of impact is clearly an important aspect of Luke’s character, so using a wide range of hard-hitting, seminal hip-hop from iconic NYC rap gurus will definitely suit this show if done well.
For my money, the best Marvel properties exist on Netflix, so I have exceptionally high hopes for the first season of Luke Cage, especially after Mike Colter’s stoic, great performance on Marvel’s Jessica Jones. And if they are sourcing everything from Nas to Wu-Tang to Tribe, I’m already sold.
“We wanted to create something great,” says music supervisor, Adrian Younge. “Not just for black people or minorities; just something great.”
We. Cannot. Wait.
Luke Cage pummels its way onto Netflix in its entirety on September 30.
Take a deep dive into the full Luke Cage Trailer: