new music: stream adrien younge and ali shaheed muhammad’s bold. brilliant. and unapologetically black soundtrack to marvel’s luke cage #soundcheck

November 14, 2016

Billions of pixels have already been spilt over Netflix’s Marvel’s Luke Cage. Though it wasn’t perfect, Marvel’s attempts to engage with the idea of what vigilantism means in an era of Black Lives Matter, made for the most compelling and exciting thing Marvel has signed its name to in a long time. From Luke Cage’s Trayvon-inspired hoodie to the self-love to the dialogue about gentrification and, as Method Man spells out in a scene that would be cringeworthily on the nose had it been delivered by literally anyone other than Method Man, the mere existence of a literally bulletproof black man is an important statement in 2016. The soundtrack, which composers Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge described as a character in the show, delivers on all of the promise of the show, with an album that stands on its own terms. The record is bold, brilliant, and as Muhammad and Younge themselves have declared “unapologetically black.”

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK contributor

Featuring a mix of the songs performed on the show, Raphael Saadiq’s “Good Man,” Charles Bradley’s “Ain’t It a Sin,” Sharon Jones’ “100 Days, 100 Nights,” and of course Method Man’s “Bulletproof Love,” the record mixes incidental music from the show, for something that plays a little like an update to Isaac Hayes’ 4 disc Shaft score. The Luke Cage soundtrack highlights just how integral the show’s score is. If the music was a character on the show, the soundtrack is a brilliant monologue. The only complaint: while I understand rights are an issue, the show featured cues from so many brilliant artists, it’s a shame that the many many Gang Starr and Wu Tang cuts featured during the show’s action sequences didn’t make it on to the record. Here’s hoping for a full box set down the road.