Game of Thrones: The Rap Mixtape

March 5, 2014 | Andy Cush

Well, this is unusual. To promote the next season of smash-hit Game of Thrones, HBO will release a mixtape of hip hop and Latin artists making music about the show. Participating musicians include Wale, Big Boi, Daddy Yankee, Bodega Bamz, and Common.

From the sound of things, it’s a pretty blatant ploy to attract a nonwhite audience. From the WSJ:

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.

“Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don’t want to take them for granted,” said Lucinda Martinez, HBO’s senior vice president for multicultural marketing.

The songs will almost certainly be atrocious (sample lyric from Wale’s track: I’m tellin’ whoever messin’ with me/I can bring you that Khaleesi heat), but kudos to HBO for engaging with rap music, I suppose. It drops online Friday.