Rappers in Westeros: Hip Hop Stars Rhyme About Game of Thrones

Illustration for article titled Rappers in Westeros: Hip Hop Stars Rhyme About emGame of Thrones/em

One night someone at HBO had a fever dream: What if the next hot mixtape to hit the "streets" had a handful of the hottest hip-hop stars rapping about Game of Thrones? Today that dream has come true. Introducing Catch The Throne.

The Wall Street Journal calls it an "unlikely mix," which doesn't give hip-hop enough credit, since rappers find inspiration from all kind of entertainment, from old kung fu movies to Clueless and Dungeons and Dragons. It's not always Champagne and booty! And when you read a paragraph like this:

The goal is to reach out to the show's urban, "multicultural" audience, a demographic that includes African-Americans and Latinos, and help capture more viewers and expand the premium cable channel's subscriber base […] HBO declined to say how much the campaign cost or how much the artists are being paid.


It feels kind of exhausting to unpack, since plenty of white people listen to rap and plenty of non-white folks watch Game of Thrones. But whatever! The spanking-new mixtape can be found here. Artists include Big Boi, Kilo Kish, Daddy Yankee and Common. There are plenty of shoutouts to Khaleesi, decapitation, the ladder, and winter. Big Boi rhymes: "Targaryen/the rightful bloodline/so don't you worry about the red wedding/that made it crunch time." Also: "Fuck the Lannisters and everybody ridin' with 'em/Jon Snow and the Night's Watch fixin' to slide some iron in 'em." Oh man. Marketing! Totally falling for a marketing gimmick. But spending Friday afternoon listening to Wale rap over the show's opening credits seems like a really good idea.

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Maybe readers of the books can answer this question. Is the tv show whitewashed compared to the books? Do the books clearly depict all the characters as white (a la Tolkien), or are they ambiguously described and the tv producers just choose to cast white people in almost every role?