Marvel’s “Luke Cage,” the third original series to result from Netflix’s partnership with Marvel Television following “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones,” has released its original song “Bulletproof Love” in celebration of the show’s September 30 premiere.
The song features Wu Tang Clan’s Method Man, who joins Marvel canon by playing himself in the show, and is composed by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the duo behind the series’ hip-hop–influenced score.
“Luke Cage” is somewhat of a departure from previous Marvel series in that it’s set in Harlem as opposed to Hell’s Kitchen, and uses music to emphasize both the setting and plot. Each of the 13 episodes is named after a track from rap duo Gang Starr, and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker told CNN that creating the show was much like “putting together an album.”
Along with “Bulletproof Love,” artists such as Nina Simone, Bill Withers, and Nas were brought in to provide music for the series to evoke the essence of Harlem in Cage’s surroundings, and live performers of various genres appear in nightclub scenes throughout the first season.
In the song’s lyrics, Method Man, who in Wu Tang often refers to himself as Johnny Blaze from Marvel’s “Ghost Rider” comic, links Cage’s desire to save the people of Harlem from crime with the realities of America’s present-day racial tensions. In one verse he suggests that superheroes such as Iron Man don’t concern themselves with the regular people of neighborhoods like Harlem.
Got thugs in the store with the barrel on your lips
Sayin’ “empty out the drawer” before he pound you with the grip
Lord, who to call when no one obeys the law
And there ain’t no Iron Man that can come and save us all?
Method Man then references “Heroes for Hire,” the first Marvel comic featuring Cage, as well as Civil Rights leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. He also refers to the “bullet-hole hoodies” worn by shooting victims such as Trayvon Martin, whose death was central in launching the “Black Lives Matters” movement.
Power to the people and Luke Cage the cause
And the cops got it wrong, We don’t think Cage involved
Look, dog, a hero never had one
Already took Malcolm and Martin this is the last one
I beg your pardon, somebody pulling’ a fast one
And now we got a hero for hire and he a black one
And bullet-hole hoodies is the fashion
We in Harlem’s Paradise tell the captain
That I’m about to trade the mic for a magnum
“Luke Cage” season 1 is available on Netflix. “Bulletproof Love” is now available for download and streaming.
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