“Game of Thrones centers around battles for power,” explains Common in a trailer for the upcoming mixtape Catch the Throne, “and rap is definitely a battle for power.”
That’s right — the “bawdy and a little sloppy” drinking song Game of Thrones producers hired the Hold Steady to write last season was just the beginning of the show’s ties to modern day music. As first revealed in a Wall Street Journal story earlier today, Catch the Throne is set to feature 10 tracks loosely inspired by the sword-brandishing, kingdom-wide battle over the dragonfire-fused Iron Throne. (What? You don’t enjoy reading 1,000-page fantasy novels in your spare time?) Among the confirmed artists are Big Boi, Wale and Daddy Yankee, which HBO executives hope will diversity their subscriber base. (According to Nielsen numbers, African American viewers accounted for 16.8-percent of the station’s primetime draw last year, and Hispanic viewers represented 12.3-percent.)
“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.
Common compared the campaign to the way the Wu-Tang Clan linked themselves to classic kung-fu movies early on, adding, “Twenty years ago, Wu-Tang was breaking ground. Nowadays, people are open to anything. There are no limitations in hip-hop culture.”
The page is pretty much blank right now — a logo wouldn’t hurt guys — but Catch the Throne will be available via the album’s Soundcloud account this Friday. Meanwhile, the fourth Game of Thrones season premiere is still a month away, although HBO is selling $15 tickets to see it a few weeks early at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 20th. Don’t worry; the “Epic Fan Experience” isn’t lining the network’s pockets. It’s benefiting an undisclosed charity…