"Luke Cage" is the black superhero society needs
In a sit-down with REVOLT TV, Mike Colter & Cheo Coker talk social leadership and the show’s hip hop-influenced score.
Luke Cage is coming. You may have already seen Mike Colter take on the titular role of the bulletproof hero-for-fire on Jessica Jones, but come this Friday (September 30), diehard comic fans and newbies alike can see his own story hit the small screen on Netflix’s “Luke Cage.”
Equipped with superstrength and unbreakable skin (due to an experiment gone wrong), ex-con and current fugitive Cage is pulled out of the shadows so he can battle for the heart of his city: Harlem. But the re-emergence forces him to confront a past he’s been trying to bury.
If you’ve seen that teaser clip, in which villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (played by Mahershala Ali of “House of Cards” fame) threatens a poor soul while perfectly positioned in front of his supersized painting of the Notorious B.I.G., you’ll know that in addition to blessing our psyches with a black superhero, music plays a major role on the series too.
Colter and executive producer Cheo Coker spoke to REVOLT TV about the importance of incorporating hip-hop into the show, how they got that B.I.G. painting, a lack in today’s leaders, and the need for society to see a prominent black hero, while composers Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest) spoke to us about how both Harlem and an orchestra influenced the score.
Read excerpts and watch the full interviews below!
Coker on Cottonmouth’s character being influenced by B.I.G.: “If Big was here, he would’ve dug the vibe of show. I almost envision him doing rhymes about Luke and Cottonmouth. He wasn’t really a comic book dude as much as he was–he loved gangster movies.”
Colter on how Luke Cage can be an inspiration for protection and leadership: “Every time you turn on the television you feel like there’s just more bad news and we’re becoming desensitized to that and, because of that, people who are targets–the victims–they feel like no one’s hearing them, no one’s got their back. And I think with a guy like Luke Cage, he’s front and center and people can believe in that.”
Younge: “In defining the sound, we encompassed the source material, the hip-hop material back then, the hip-hop of today, but how it should be perceived in our world. This is hip-hop on steroids. We had a 30-piece orchestra.”
Muhammad: “Harlem is the backdrop for ‘Luke Cage’ and trap music, you can hear it in today’s Harlem but the true essence of Harlem is a predecessor to that sound and so that was also something that was relevant to the character when it was developed in the seventies. And Harlem, the feeling and the culture, it has its own identity.
“Marvel’s Luke Cage” comes to Netflix on Friday, September 30.