Image Credit: Amazon Prime
The sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy classic Coming To America has inspired Spotify to put together playlists that bring the film’s characters to life.
It’s been 33 years since the classic comedy Coming to America was released. With a sequel Coming 2 America newly released on Amazon Prime, Spotify has marked the occasion by putting together playlists inspired by the film’s characters.
In the original film, Prince Akeem of Zamunda (Eddie Murphy) travels to New York City from his fictional African country along with his trusted advisor Semmi (Arsenio Hall). The sequel sees Akeem returning to Queens to bring his son Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) back to Zamunda.
Spotify wanted the playlists match the character’s personalities and their journeys, and each is accompanied by short videos from the actors who portray them in the film. Spotify has featured videos on the platform before, with video podcasts and moving Canvas album artworks.
Actors Jermaine Fowler, Nomzamo Mbatha, Arsenio Hall and Kiki Layne contributed to their respective character’s playlists. The Coming 2 America Spotify playlists are:
- Meeka’s Monarchy Beats – Kiki Layne
- Semmi-Smooth Sounds – Arsenio Hall
- Next Lavelle Royalty – Jermaine Fowler
- Mirembe’s Deep Cuts – Nomzamo Mbatha
The cultural shifts that have taken place in the years between the two films are reflected in their soundtracks. The funk and jazz sounds of 1988’s Coming to America are replaced by contemporary Afrobeat and hip-hop in the sequel.
Within the film itself Spotify gets a mention, highlighting how dramatically music listening has changed since the events of the first film. A scene in which Prince Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) shows his father how his phone can play music features “I’m a King” by Bobby Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion playing via the Spotify app. “I’m a King” is the lead single from the film’s soundtrack.
Jermaine Fowler told Spotify that his character Lavelle would have started the film mostly listening to Queens-based hip-hop.
Fowler said: “I don’t think Lavelle would have been accepting of the music of Zamunda because he was kind of a fish out of water and still trying to figure things out, still confused, still with a little trepidation. I think he would revert back to the music he’s familiar with where you just kind of curl up into a ball and do the things that make you comfortable.” As Lavelle adjusts to Zamunda’s culture, he would embrace the music of his heritage.
Spotify have also released a “Coming 2 America Official Playlist” made up of tracks inspired by the Rhythms of Zamunda.