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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rapper Lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs in front of the President.

This is a performance by Lin-manuel Miranda at the White House Poetry Event. It was the premiere of a song from what should have been called “The Hamilton Mixtape”, a hip-hop concept album about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, but unfortunately the Album never seemed to end up being released. Nevertheless, this is spectacular.
via [ TNW ]

Alexander Hamilton - Wikipedia
Lin-manuel Miranda - Wikipedia

Lin-Manuel Miranda Goes Crazy For HOUSE and Hamilton - Playbill:
Speaking of writing, you’re currently working on a rap concept album based on the life of Alexander Hamilton (a work you just debuted at The White House, of all places). Where did that idea come from?
After In the Heights finished Off-Broadway, I went on vacation and brought with me a biography of Hamilton. Something about it just grabbed me. I picked up the book thinking maybe I’ll get a funny song out of it—some jokey-rap thing about the Hamilton/Burr duel. But as I read it, I realized Hamilton’s whole life was about the power of words and wouldn’t it be great to hear a hip-hop album about how we created this country?

What was it about Hamilton’s life that inspired you?
He’s very much like a Charles Dickens-type character. Here is a guy who really pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He was a penniless orphan, both of his parents were dead by the time he was 10. He ended up working for a trading company in St. Croix and was basically running the company by the time he was 14 because he was just this prodigy kid. [At the time] he had written a poem about a hurricane that had devastated the island. The poem gained notoriety and he was sent to the mainland on a scholarship literally on the strength of his writing. He taught himself French and Latin and soon became indispensable to George Washington during the Revolution and his career flourished from there. Only in America could his career flourish. But he was also as self destructive as he was brilliant and got into these epic fights with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Aaron Burr the last of which ended in him getting shot in Weehawken, NJ. And as I’m reading this, I’m thinking ‘This is Biggie, this is Tupac…this is hip-hop!’

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