The announcement was made via the Luke Cage Twitter account this afternoon. Check out the tweet/video below:
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) December 4, 2016
With the Iron Fist and Defenders series both expected in 2017, season 2 of “Luke Cage” likely won’t premiere until sometime in 2018.
Below is my post from October breaking down the episode titles from season 1, which is now streaming on Netflix.
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 binge-watching the series, you’d already know 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! And you might even discover some new music in the process, starting especially with the work of Gang Starr, the East Coast hip hop duo that consisted of the late MC Guru and the DJ/producer DJ Premier. Hip hop heads who were around in the early 1990s will certainly be familiar. For those who aren’t, maybe it’s time for you to get more acquainted.
I single out Gang Starr because, one significant aspect of the show’s nod to hip hop music is the fact that every single episode (all 13 of them) is named after a song by Gang Starr. Showrunner/exec producer Coker explained why he decided to do this, in an interview with Hip Hop DX: “Well, Gang Starr for me, it wasn’t about the content of music as much as it was about the song titles. One of the old tricks we used to use back in the day in music journalism is we used to pick a song for cover line. No matter what group you’re talking about. If there’s a cool cover line you can do that and then simultaneously as a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes, she also names a lot of her shows. Original episodes of Grey’s Anatomy after different songs. So it was really just a combination of just like finding songs titles that resonate and then seeing how you can build cinematic resonance with your story and your characters. What I noticed in going through my iTunes is that Gang Starr songs always had that kind of presence and so it just worked basically picking those song titles and making it into something. The first episode is really about that “moment of truth,” that Genghis Khan, is when Luke Cage decides to become a hero. And then “Code of the Streets” is about the ramifications of stepping up and finding out that there is a code that they just violated. The third one in “Who’s Going to Take the Weight?” is really about Luke now stepping up and doing something that from which there is no going back, so he’s going to take the weight of taking down Cottonmouth and put it on his shoulders. All the different titles reflect on the character in an interesting way. But then at the same time on top of everything else, it’s a great playlist. So it’s funny a lot of people actually listened to all those songs, thinking ‘Hey, maybe I’ll get some insights into the show’ but there wasn’t a real invest in the show from the songs, but what they did get was an education on real Hip Hop so I think it served a double purpose.”
Real hip hop indeed.
Coker relied on Gang Starr’s first 5 studio albums for his titles: “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (1989), “Step in the Arena” (1991), “Daily Operation” (1992), “Hard to Earn” (1994), and “Moment of Truth” (1998). The duo’s last full-length album (“The Ownerz”) was released in 2003, though they have released several compilations since.
Sadly, 7 years after “The Ownerz,” one-half of the duo, Keith “Guru” Elam, passed away in 2010, after suffering a heart attack, and falling into a coma.
On the next page, you’ll find videos for the 13 Gang Starr tracks whose titles are used for each episode of “Luke Cage.” Accompanying each is the name of the album they are from, some noteworthy details about each, as well as samples used, if you want to dig a little deeper.
Source: Shadow & Act