"The first time people watch the show, it's just to see what happens. The second or third time they watch it, they listen."
For showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, the very concept of Marvel's Luke Cage is very much rooted in the musical identity he set out to establish for the show. In an interview with SAYS, Coker - a former music journalist - revealed that he would spend hours obsessing over "picking the right songs" before building a narrative around the music.
"It sounds crazy, but it's doing some of the work for you. It's sort of giving you a very clear direction before you start, and it's ingenious," Mike Colter, who plays the titular character, chimed in.
It's definitely an unconventional way of setting the tone for the series, but one that has definitely paid off in terms of introducing audiences to the hip-hop - and occasionally, jazz and blues - music featured in the show.
"Music is universal," Coker said. "All the time on YouTube, you go to a song (that was featured on the show) and they'll say, 'Luke Cage sent me here'. That's one of the coolest things that people actually learning about different music just from watching the show."
With that in mind, Netflix Malaysia decided to introduce some of Malaysia's best hip-hop acts to Luke Cage stars Mike Colter and Mustafa Shakir as well as showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker:
1. Mustafa Shakir a.k.a. Bushmaster was totally diggin' Kajang-born rapper Airliftz's Appreciate
2. Kidd Santhe's music video for Rindu, which featured gorgeous beach shots and "dope transitions", were a hit with the trio
3. Joe Flizzow's Sampai Jadi sparked a deep conversation about the universality of hip-hop and how Asian culture fits in the genre
Looks like some of our homegrown hip-hop acts might be making themselves heard in future Luke Cage episodes!
All episodes of Marvel's Luke Cage are currently streaming exclusively on Netflix. Watch the trailer for Season 2:
Read more Entertainment features and exclusive celebrity interviews on SAYS: