Listen to the Game of Thrones mixtape. Yes, mixtape.
You know you’ve achieved popular status when hip-hop artists make some kind of reference to you in their music.
Over the years, I’ve heard lyrical references to television shows such as Entourage, House, The Wire, Eastbound & Down, Dr. Who, and Breaking Bad to name a few. Even giving a nod to a long-cancelled series can give it a resurgence in popularity. Some folks my age didn’t know about Knots Landing and Falcon Crest until Sean Price incorporated them into his verses.
As far as musical backdrops go, rap producers can take samples from anywhere to create beats. Underground superstar MF DOOM frequently samples the music (and dialogue) from old cartoon shows from the 1960s for his beats. Though I’m intimately aware that anything can be sampled, I often find myself surprised at what I hear.
What you see and hear below this paragraph is emblematic of that statement. The HBO TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is no longer just relegated to being popular with the ‘geek’ crowd. Its plethora of sex, money, power, betrayal and manipulation has captured the minds and viewing tastes across a wide range of demographics. When hip-hop caught onto it, HBO released a mixtape last March inspired by the series. Consisting of references to the show and with beats sampled from its soundtrack, the mixtape was titled Catch the Throne. With 10 tracks by Common, Wale, Big Boi from OutKast and Daddy Yankee, another follow up is slated for release sometime next month. I was surprised at what I heard, and enjoyed the hell out of it.
Listen for yourself:
Sy L. Shackleford is a jack-of-all-trades columnist for Action A Go Go. A University of Connecticut graduate with a degree in both psychology and communication sciences, he is a walking encyclopedic repository for all things Marvel Comics, movies, hip-hop, et. al. You can follow him on Twitter @shack_house83.
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