A variety of hip-hop and Latin artists, including Big Boi, Common, Wale and Daddy Yankee, have contributed tracks to a Game of Thrones–inspired mixtape titled, without irony, Catch the Throne. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mixtape’s lyrical content will fit right in with the thrust of the series, with verses about sword fights and dragons spitting flames interspersed with samples of dialogue from the show. It’s expected to hit the web Friday, well in advance of the show’s fourth season premiere (April 6th) and even its early screening at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
HBO’s Senior Vice President for Multicultural Marketing Lucinda Martinez told the Journal that the mixtape was an effort to widen the show’s appeal, since ratings company Nielsen reported the show’s audience was 76 percent white. “Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don’t want to take them for granted,” she said. She did not disclose how much money the network put into producing the mixtape or paying its artists.
But that’s not to say the contributors on Catch the Throne are not legitimate fans of the show. Common told the Journal that he has watched Game of Thrones through its second season. He’s a fan, in particular, of Tyrion Lannister, the character played by Peter Dinklage. To him, working on the mixtape – which features a lyric the paper printed, “I sit and think when I’m in my zone/ This life is like a game of thrones” – was similar to early Wu-Tang Clan albums that sampled kung-fu movies. “Twenty years ago, Wu-Tang was breaking ground,” he said. “Nowadays, people are open to anything. There are no limitations in hip-hop culture.”
Meanwhile Outkast member Big Boi says he’s a diehard fan of the show. On the mixtape, he raps about Khaleesi, “the mother of dragons,” which features the chorus, “Dungeons, dragons, kings and queens.” He said his interest in the series extends beyond the TV series, though, as he’s currently reading the book series by author George R.R. Martin that serves as the show’s basis. “I wanted to see what happens in the next season,” he said.
As for working on the mixtape, he said, “I’m really happy. I get to be part of the process of one of my favorite shows.”