Why All ‘Luke Cage’ Episodes Have Gang Starr Song Titles

Cheo Hodari Coker’s had an ill journey. For many hip-hop heads, you’ll remember him as one of the best journalists in music, putting in work for the L.A. Times as well as penning Vibe’s cover story on The Notorious B.I.G.’s death. That led to an impressive biography on Biggie, which then turned into writing credits on the Biggie biopic, 2009’s Notorious. He’s since spent time on the television circuit, working as a producer on NCIS: Los Angeles, Ray Donovan, and Southland. Now, as the showrunner for Luke Cage, Marvel’s next Netflix series about a bulletproof black man who is down to rid Harlem of it’s crime element, it feels like Coker’s taken all of his past work and poured it into the perfect project.

The show, which Coker’s been quoted as saying is the beginning of the “Wu-Tang-ification” of the Marvel Universe, is the most hip-hop thing we’ve seen from a comic book superhero yet. It goes deeper than having A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad working as a music supervisor (alongside Adrian Younge), naming each episode after Gang Starr songs, or having your debut trailer sountracked by vintage Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

During a quick chat as he navigated through a hectic press run, Coker broke down wanting to be a “hip-hop showrunner” and what that meant in terms of Luke Cage, his love of comic books, and how he feels about Luke Cage being called the “Black Lives Matter” show.

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