It’s no secret that a lot of superhero TV shows tend to get worse as they chug along — just look at The Flash, Gotham and even Daredevil — but The CW’s surprise hit, Black Lightning has managed to get stronger with each passing episode.
Granted, Black Lightning will be stuck with its painfully corny theme song for as long as it’s on-air, but it’s worth noting that the show’s other music choices have gotten a lot better. A great example is this week’s victorious, Seun Kuti-fueled scene (which we will not spoil).
While it’s surprising that a show that so confidently wears its blackness on its sleeve – using poignant storylines and song choices that range from a Kendrick Lamar anthem to a SZA ballad – has taken this long to use a Kuti track, the timing really couldn’t have been better.
Seun Kuti’s "Struggle Sounds", a sure standout off his latest LP, is a perfect fit for one of the show’s strongest and most ambitious episodes – which finds the writers exploring themes of corruption, police brutality and the mistreatment of black bodies.
Struggle Sounds?!?! shoutout to whoever did the music for this episode, 10/10 impeccable choices #BlackLightning— offishell (@offishell) April 4, 2018
Struggle Sounds by Seun Kuti is featured in the latest episode of #BlackLightning !! Mad!!— Damilola (@dami_odufuwa) April 4, 2018
Speaking with NPR about the theme behind songs like "Struggle Sounds", Seun said:
"The way motherland people all over the world are viewed, the way we are led, is based on an elitist, anti-black narrative."
So, the message of afrobeat music is the counter of that narrative: the pro-black, pro-people, pro-motherland narrative from our own perspective."
That's exactly what makes the song choice such an inspired one. Just like "Struggle Sounds", which Seun dubs "the voice of the people", the episode shows how Black Lightning and Thunder are a beacon of hope for the marginalized people of Freeland.
You can watch the clip below: