Rakim Shows He’s Still A Super Hero On A New Song For Luke Cage (Video)
Season 2 of Luke Cage premiered yesterday (June 22) and, as with the first season, the show continues to be steeped in Hip-Hop. Written by journalist Cheo Hodari Coker, who cut his teeth writing for VIBE magazine where he did some of the definitive interviews of The Notorious B.I.G., the show reflects Coker’s Hip-Hop roots, from its episode titles to its artwork. Each episode in season 1 was dubbed after a Gang Starr song, and in season 2, Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s catalog does the honors. Similarly, in a nod to the man who changed his life, Coker made sure a portrait of Biggie was prominently displayed throughout much of the debut season.
The music in the show also flaunts its Hip-Hop affinities. In season 1, Method Man made a cameo, which included him performing a new song that was an ode to the bulletproof hero after whom the show is named. In season 2, the distinction goes to Rakim. Joined onstage by Adrian Younge, whose music has powered sounds for Ghostface Killah, Souls Of Mischief, PRhyme and others, The God MC rocks a packed house wearing a brim fit for Run-D.M.C., and a fat gold chain like the one about which he rhymed on “I Know You Got Soul.”
Before getting to Luke Cage on “King’s Paradise,” Rakim salutes some of the real-life heroes who have walked the streets of Harlem. “Welcome to Harlem, the home of innovatin’ / Legacies, stories of gods killin’ Satan / Where they honor Harlem’s father, Philip Payton / The renaissance in the makin’ / Ellington, Garvey, Joe Louis, Lena Horne / Malcolm, Maya, Louis Armstrong.” From there, he turns to Cage, effortlessly blending fact with fiction. The video mixes footage both of Rakim’s performance, and clips from the series.
Season 2 of Luke Cage can be viewed on Netflix.