Not even one week has passed since the entire (first?) season of Marvel’s Luke Cage has been released on Netflix worldwide. Since then Netflix’s servers have collapsed temporarily, supposedly because a lot of people tried to binge as many episodes of the unlikely smash hit as humanly possible within one weekend. Also the official Luke Cage playlist on Spotify, curated by Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, has gained a lot of plays.
And while the euphoric dust of excitement might yet have to settle before you should trust any review of the entire series of 13 episodes itself, the internet has already made up its mind about the excellent soundtrack. I guess you cannot not notice how good the score is, even if you’ve only watched a few minutes of the first episode. The intro, the live performances at Cottonmouth’s “Harlem’s Paradise”, all the genres: Rap, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Soul…all cooperating to elevate this project way above all other Marvel films and series in terms of atmosphere.
And while a playlist is fine, in fact mighty fine in this very case, we still needed a mixtape. And as nobody else seems to have had the time to make one for us (supposedly people are still busy binge watching) we have taken matters into our own hands. Enter “Luke Cage Soundtrack Mixtape: Harlem’s Paradise”.
We hope you dig my selection and Peter‘s mixing. We also hope that we have been successful in finding and assembling the most iconic and outstanding tracks from the series. Please let us know if you feel we have missed a favorite of yours. We have included one song in two versions because it’s so brilliant in both forms. In the series itself you can hear Kadhja Bonet’s beautiful voice singing “Remember The Rain”. Since the original version from 1974 by a band called 21st Century is just as brilliant, we made an executive decision (Spoiler Alert: …that hopefully doesn’t get us into as much trouble as Tone got into for his “executive decision”) to include both.
Up until the 30 minute mark we’ve got a lot of rap classics including Gang Starr’s “You Know My Steez”, not only because that is also the title of the final episode of the season. And of course there’s this ridiculously dope “Long Live The Chief” by Jidenna, an artist that I haven’t heard anything of so far. Now I can’t wait for his album that’s going to come out this year and that’ll incidentally carry the same name. That’s some nice marketing right there!
From minute 31 onwards we’re slowing it down quite a bit until we finally finish it all off with Donald Byrd’s beautiful “Cristo Redento”.
Oh yeah and sorry for naming the whole thing after Cottonmouth’s club. That name just fits the vibe so well…