The Luke Cage season 2 soundtrack has been given an awesome vinyl release. Marvel and Netflix have brought the muscle-bound hero of Hell's Kitchen back for his second run of episodes and that means we've got another excellent score to enjoy. Mondo Music has partnered with Marvel to present the vinyl soundtrack for season 2, complete with collectible artwork of the bulletproof Defender, courtesy of Sara Deck. The release of the album coincides with the release of the second season of the hit series and features original score by returning composers Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest) and Adrian Younge (Ghostface Killah, JAY-Z, Bilal, Souls of Mischief).
The duo of Muhammad and Younge earned critical acclaim for their score for Season 1. The soundtrack featured influences ranging from David Axelrod, Ennio Morricone, to A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang Clan. The music they composed helped bring the world of Harlem to life and became one of the more memorable elements of Luke Cage, making it stand apart from the other Marvel shows on Netflix. Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker had this to say about the release.
"If Season 1 was about the hip-hop and the Wu-Tangification of the Marvel Universe, Season 2 is about the roots of hip-hop: reggae and the blues. How both smashed up against each other to create the sonic backdrop of what we now know as hip-hop. The rhythmic stew of funk, rhythm and blues, soul, melded with the Jamaican 'DJ' tradition. Harlem's Paradise, which is tied to the family legacy of both Mariah Dillard Stokes and John 'Bushmaster' McGiver, is where the musical sensibilities of both clash. One of the secrets of the show is whoever looks down at the club from Cottonmouth's 'perch' controls the music of the club and has reign over Harlem. The music selection and the sequencing is a labor of love, and is one of the most important things I do as showrunner of this show. I love the fact that all of musical sensibilities meld with our storytelling and dramatic desires as a writer's room, cast, and production crew. I get to be both John Wells and Quincy Jones."
For Luke Cage season 2, the composers desired to expand the sound and included a rhythm section and orchestra. For the character Bushmaster, they created what they call "symphonic reggae" for his theme, blending the soul of reggae music with an orchestra. Their inspirations for Season 2 include the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Mission Impossible, plus the television series Kojak, Baretta and some old school Marvel TV in the form of The Incredible Hulk. In addition to the score, the album also includes licensed tracks plus the song King's Paradise, which was performed in an episode by Rakim. He is regarded as one of the most influential MCs of all time. The track was written by William Griffin, Younge and Muhammad.
R&B singer Joi also performs Love You Forever Right Now, which is the opening track on the vinyl release. Family First, a song co-written by Younge, Muhammad and Gabrielle Dennis, with vocals produced by Cheo Hodari Coker also appears on the release. Additionally, the soundtrack includes two covers by teen blues guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram; I Put a Spell on You and The Thrill is Gone. Luke Cage season 2 is streaming on Netflix now. If you want to get your hands on the soundtrack, which comes in either yellow or black 180-gram vinyl, head on over to MondoTees.com. You can check out the album art for yourself below.