Marvel’s “Luke Cage” may be a show about a really strong dude who’s also bulletproof, but it’s also all about black culture in general — and it puts a heavy emphasis on music.
One of my favorite things about “Luke Cage” is a series of musical performances we see at Harlem’s Paradise, the club that the villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes owns. These performances are intercut with the action in sequences that function similarly to a music video. Click through to find out what those songs were and listen to them in full.
There are six of these sequences in all, starting in the series premiere with Raphael Saadiq playing to a full house as three young men hit a weapon deal Cottonmouth set up with Domingo, another Harlem crime boss. Each of the first three episodes includes one of these performances, but from there they come more sparingly. Let’s run through them.
Raphael Saadiq plays two tracks at the club, his 2011 single “Good Man” and an original.
In the second episode we get Faith Evans doing “Mesmerized,” the second single from her 2005 record “The First Lady.”
67-year old Funk singer Charles Bradley takes the stage in the third episode to perform “Ain’t In a Sin” from his 2016 record “Changes.”
Jidenna put out an original track for “Luke Cage,” called “Long Live the Chief,” though it’s been out on its since late last year. His performance marks one of the most memorable parts of the series.
Giants of soul The Delfonics perform “Stop and Look (and You Have Found Love)” from the 2013 record “Adrian Yonge Presents The Delfonics.” Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammed are responsible for the “Luke Cage” score.
In episode 11, Method Man performs an in-universe ode to Luke Cage, called “Bulletproof Love,” on a radio show.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings send off the season with a performance, at the reopened Harlem’s Paradise, of their 2006 track “100 Days, 100 Nights.”