Cheo Hodari Coker on how Biggie enabled him to create "Luke Cage"
“If I didn’t get to co-write ‘Notorious,’ I wouldn’t’ve gotten into television,” he told REVOLT at the series premiere.
Friday (September 30) saw the release of Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix, following the character’s live action debut on Jessica Jones last fall. After releasing two trailers loaded with rap, and a cameo appearance by the Wu-Tang Clan’s M-E-T-H-O-D Man (err, Johnny Blaze), the show immediately gained the attention of boom bap babies and superhero aficionados alike.
During the red carpet premiere for the series at the Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker spoke with REVOLT about winning over an audience with “the right needle drops” in cinema and television.
“Everybody wants to use hip-hop music, but it’s gotta be the right hip-hop music. It’s no different than DJing – you have to look at your crowd and you have to know when to drop ‘Who Shot Ya?’ and you have to know when to drop ‘Shook Ones.’”
When speaking with REVOLT’s own Lawrence Jackson, Coker took time out to acknowledge how grateful he is to the late Notorious B.I.G. for opening the path to where his career stands today. “I think REVOLT, I think Puff, I think all the things that I owe to Notorious B.I.G. Because if it wasn’t for Biggie, if it wasn’t for interviewing Big, I wouldn’t gotten to write the book… If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t’ve co-written the movie. If I didn’t get to co-write Notorious, I wouldn’t’ve gotten into television. And getting into television ultimately lead to me creating the show. It was all a dream.”
In his multi-faceted career, Coker has also served as a producer on a handful of television shows such as NCIS: Los Angeles, Southland, and Ray Donovan.
Very much proud of his work on Luke Cage, his take on the character, originally conceived in 1972, and the support of the studios, Coker brags, “This show is purely musical. But at the same time it’s got Marvel power, so when you mix both those up, I mean… ain’t nothin’ fuckin’ with us.”