Showrunner and exec producer of the series, Cheo Hodari Coker, revealed earlier this year that the 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.”
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 were later announced to be composing music for the series, reportedly utilizing a full orchestra for the score, which was conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Also the series will feature onscreen performances by Faith Evans, Raphael Saadiq, Charles Bradley, The Delfonics, Method Man, and others. Fans should additionally expect 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” when the series drops on September 30. Can’t wait!
Netflix/Marvel have released a behind-the-scenes look at the music that will help create the atmosphere for the series. Watch it below.
Joining Mike Colter as Luke Cage are: Mahershala Ali is Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, an adversary for the title character to battle against; Simone Missick is a variation of Misty Knight; Alfre Woodard plays a variation of another Luke Cage nemesis known as Black Mariah; And Theo Rossi is Shades (aka Alvarez), a career criminal and a nemesis to Cage.
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) August 31, 2016
Below, watch a clip and trailer: