A rap mixtape inspired by Game of Thrones will debut this Friday. The mixtape, which features 10 rappers, including Common and Big Boi, one half of the duo Outkast, will be called Catch the Throne, an ode to Watch the Throne by Jay Z and Kanye West.
Through this project HBO hopes to reach out to the Latino and African-American demographic as reported by the Journal. Lucinda Martinez, a multicultural marketing executive for HBO, comments on how the network does not want to take the multicultural audience “for granted.” The fact that there is a diverse number of people who watch Game of Thrones came to light after HBO discovered there were many rappers who are fans of the epic fantasy show. They are, however, in the minority, as the show’s audience is 76 percent white according to Nielsen ratings. How much the rappers are being paid and the expenses of the project has yet to be disclosed.
One of the more diehard fans of Game of Thrones is Big Boi who claims that not only does he love the show, but he is also reading the books too. The rapper has released Mother of Dragons before this Friday’s debut of the rap mixtape, which can be seen on Pitchfork . The track, along with the rest of Catch the Throne, is reminiscent of Wu-Tang Clan’s music. The group was known for their unique production featuring clips from martial arts movies and a gritty and urban feeling to the beats and lyrics. The mixtape takes the same approach as Wu-Tang, but instead sampling Game of Thrones clips. Mother of Dragons is about Khaleesi, the rightful heir to the throne. Near the end of the song Big Boi proclaims his hatred for the Lannisters, a vile family who, throughout the course of the show, are in control of the throne.
Also featured on Catch the Throne is Interlude/The Ladder by Common who is a master of lyrics. Common’s most famous song, a jazzy 1994 track I Used to Love H.E.R. is considered one of the greatest hip-hop songs lyrically to have ever been recorded. In the song he supposedly is rapping about the degradation of a woman, later revealing that he is in fact rapping about the state of hip-hop, H.E.R. being an acronym for Hearing Every Rhyme. In essence, I Used to Love H.E.R. speaks on how rap has lost touch with afrocentricity and consciousness. The rise of West Coast hip-hop pushed it into the mainstream deteriorating what hip-hop used to be all about during the 80’s. Common has since stayed true to the essence of his lyrics, while maintaining commercial viability with his music.
It will be interesting to hear what Common has to say in his song for this eclectic mixtape. The only known lyric is, “I sit and think when I’m in my zone/ This life is like a game of thrones,” in a song that is supposed to be about the infamous Red Wedding plot at the end of season 3. Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee and Wale are two other rappers who will appear on Catch the Throne debuting this Friday and available for free via SoundCloud.
By Kollin Lore