“Watch the Throne,” meet “Game of Thrones”: HBO has commissioned rappers including Wale, Common and Outkast’s Big Boi for a mix tape devoted to its hit fantasy series.
On one “Catch the Throne” track, Wale raps about bringing “that Khaleesi heat” and decapitating other MCs.
The unlikely seeming enterprise is all part of an effort to reach the “muticultural” audience of “Game of Thrones,” HBO told The Wall Street Journal.
“Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don’t want to take them for granted,” Lucinda Martinez, HBO’s senior vice president for multicultural marketing, told the paper.
Actually, the Journal found, the audience for “Game of Thrones” is a little less multicultural than that of HBO overall. Last year, the audience for its third season was 13.2 percent African-American, 9.2 percent Hispanic and 76.6 white, according to Nielsen figures. Overall, HBO’s overall audience last year was 16.8 percent black, 12.3 percent Hispanic and 72.9 white.
Maybe it’s because the cast is so overwhelmingly white?
HBO notes that African-Americans and Latinos are overrepresented in its subscriber count relative to their numbers in the population at large, and says Nielsen’s numbers don’t account for platforms like HBO Go.
HBO declined to say how much the campaign cost or how much it paid the artists who took part in the 10-song mix tape, which will be released Friday.
It was created by a team of producers at New York’s Launch Point Records, who sampled music from the show’s score and snippets of dialogue. Other rappers involved include reggaeton star Daddy Yankee and rapper Bodega Bamz. Unfortunately absent are Kanye West and Jay-Z, the pair behind “Watch the Throne.”
The “Game of Thrones” foray into hip-hop isn’t the show’s first collaboration with popular musicians: Both “The Hold Steady” and Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow Patrol, have sung the song “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” for the show. The song is said to be one of the most popular in Westeros.