Netflix’s Luke Cage is attempting to bring a more vibrant musical focus to Marvel’s TV shows, since much of what we’ve seen on TV has been riddled with music nobody remembers. Luke Cage has a very black cultural background, which we don’t see much of any more, especially on TV. In movies, Straight Outta Compton was the last time we’d seen black culture as the central theme, and the film had a similar focus to recent the protests.
In general, entertainment has had a very Caucasian focus, and it may be time for a positive story about black culture which Marvel’s Jessica Jones only hinted at. With the emergence of activist groups like Black Lives Matter, we’ve seen a slow trickle of black roles surfacing, but it’s mostly still been white-centric. The last time we’d seen a boom in movies and TV focusing on this aspect of society, it was mostly fueled by Spike Lee and various gangster plotlines.
— Geek.com (@geekdotcom) September 30, 2016
Black culture isn’t all about gangs and poverty, and Luke Cage’s music might help change that. Rap will join with soul and rhythm and blues in a story about a man who fights for a better life and knows that a better life means a better neighborhood. Hell’s Kitchen can only be a better neighborhood if the criminal element is eliminated, and while Matt Murdock is busy with Kingpin and Punisher, and Jessica Jones (Breaking Bad‘s Krysten Ritter) recovers from her bout with Kilgrave, Luke Cage is helping to clean up the streets in Harlem.
Accompanying Luke Cage is music from Method Man, Faith Evans, and The Delfonics, with the help of music managers Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, to give Marvel’s version of Harlem an authentic feel. These musicians even perform in the Harlem nightclub, Geek reports.
For those who haven’t seen Mike Colter’s Luge Cage in action, possibly due to the lackluster critical response to Jessica Jones, he began as a bartender attempting to hide his abilities. He had been successful until Jones came into his bar and got kicked out the first time. It wasn’t until she found herself involved in a brawl in said bar and saw Luke get struck in the head with something which should have at least phased him that she even knew about it.
Unfortunately, as soon as Jones knew about him, she tried to hide her own super strength as well. She had been the reason for something traumatic in Cage’s life, but after a fire leveled his bar, he was given little choice but to come out as another vigilante. This is where Luke Cage’s music-packed story begins.
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) September 30, 2016
According to Billboard, Muhammad tried to create something unique with the music of Luke Cage.
“Adrian and I took a lot of direction from Cheo [Hadari Coker]. He developed the series with music having as much of a leading role as the other characters. Cheo, Adrian, and I speak the same language, musically speaking, so it was easy to compose based on his direction. He wanted the series to have a hip-hop foundation. Adrian and I interpreted that as meaning we could use the source material sampled in many classic hip-hop songs as the source of inspiration. We also wanted the Luke Cage series to have it’s own unique sound, identifiable only to Luke Cage. We also wanted it to sound unlike anything else being composed for television right now.”
Do you think the music of Luke Cage could give Marvel’s TV shows a decent comeback?
[Featured Image by Marvel / Netflix]