Saturday, August 6, 2011

Alexander Hamilton, Hip-Hop Hero

This morning I flipped to the first page of an old reporters notebook and saw scribbled in pencil on the first line "The Hamilton Mixtape -> Lin-Manuel Miranda." Also, apparently I had an advising session that Friday at 10 a.m.

Anyway, in case that line doesn't mean anything to you, let me clue you in. Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of the most talented figures in current-day literary/arts culture. He's a rapper, an actor and a playwrite from New York. He wrote the music and lyrics for broadway musical In Heights, which was nominated for thirteen Tonys. Miranda also worked on a revival of West Side Story that actually featured Spanish in the dialogue between the Puerto Rican characters as well as in the songs they sing.

He's into a million different things these days. If you were paying attention, you might have spotted him on Modern Family a few months ago.

But the Hamilton Mixtape part? I'd forgotten hearing on NPR that he was working on an album about Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's life, because Hamilton was– and you may not know this – a true embodiment of hip-hop.

I'll let Miranda explain it. Check out his 2009 performance at the White House's Poetry Jam. No word on a release date, but you better believe when that thing drops, I'm going to be the first in line. I have great respect for people that can string together words, especially the way he can. (That's why I hang out with writers.)

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