A new series to binge watch this weekend.
* Pilot episode SPOILER ALERT *
If you aren’t well-versed in the Marvel superhero universe then you’ve probably never heard of the Luke Cage character before. He doesn’t share the popularity of The Avengers or Daredevil, which is really odd considering Cage’s superpower isn’t a gimmick but more bruh-that-is-bad-ass. Extremely crazy strength, unbreakable/bulletproof skin, and the ability to sweet talk the ladies, just to name a few. His short cameo on Marvel’s previous Neftlix series Jessica Jones left viewers trying to figure out Cage’s brooding demeanor. There was a mystery about him, not just about his powers but how he got them and why. Additionally, there’s been a traumatic relationship from his past, who she was and why it still occassionaly haunts him is what we’re expecting to find out soon.
Episode 1 titled “Moment Of Truth” plays like a cleverly written game plan. They introduce the main character without any background story, the “bad guys” play their hand, and a mysterious person of interest somehow knows more than they are revealing. It’s a recipe for getting people like us to binge watch the whole series. We find Cage (Mike Colter) working at an old school barbershop in Harlem, New York where he tries to live a normal life despite the owner “Pops” telling Cage that his powers might help the streets. Brushing off the comment, the rest of the episode is Cage’s internal struggle of whether to stay away from the fight or protect those in need. Corrupt politicians and drug lords are the antagonists in this series, Cage had to deal with a few of their lackeys already. Finally, a detective who has been tracking this crime wave is trying to get to the main source, but how far she’ll go to get to the truth may depend on help from Cage.
Now let’s look (and listen) to the most important supporting character in the series: the musical score and curated song selections. Adrian Younge and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad are the masterminds behind the hip-hop and jazz-infused beats throughout the series. A Miles Davis and an iconic Biggie poster can be seen in the first episode. Also, they added a few scenes where Raphael Saadiq is playing a live show inside a lounge. Showing how the music influence isn’t limited to just the sounds you are hearing, but by seeing a quick visual you are immersed in the melodic universe. Marvel letting hip-hop be a major component in their new live action series speaks on the similarities of storytelling, whether through hip-hop music or a comic book. Hip-hop heads will no doubt love this series, but any music fan will appreciate how each beat selection adds to the tone of the scenes. And if that wasn’t enough, each episode is titled after a Gang Starr song. We’re in the song’s mindset before the episode even starts! Episode two is marked “Code Of The Streets,” peep the music video below.
Next up, if you are in Los Angeles area, don’t miss Marvel’s Luke Cage: The Live Score going down at the Ace Hotel this coming Thursday October 6th. Tickets are available now.
“ArtDontSleep presents an unforgettable evening of music at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, curated by Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, showing the diverse range of original score created for the Netflix original series, Marvel’s Luke Cage. Influences ranging from David Axelrod, Ennio Morricone, to A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang Clan will be brought to life by a 40-piece orchestra conducted and orchestrated by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. This special concert event will be hosted by Russell Peters and Wayne Brady and also features an opening DJ set by mega producer No I.D. Marvel’s Luke Cage Season One digital soundtrack will be available at digital retailers and streaming services on October 7. The Live Score is brought to you with the generous support of Beats and The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Beats will provide streaming stations of the soundtrack in the lobby of the theatre. “