Hamilton is the musical on everyone’s lips. It has won the heart of millions seemingly overnight, completely storming the Tony’s by winning eleven awards (out of sixteen nominations) this year. No one can stop talking about it, and I am one of those people.
Based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s Founding Fathers, it doesn’t initially sound like musical material. Until you find out that it’s musical format is hip hop and R&B, and the historical figures are played by people of colour. Before I even go any further, I’m just gonna tell you now – go listen to it. I don’t care if you’re not into musicals, you will not regret listening to this cast album.
I don’t even really care much about American history (sorry, ‘Muricans), but Hamilton is just such an amazing, inspiring, thought-provoking and damn well written piece of art. Lin-Manual Miranda, the creator and star (although he’s now left the cast to persue other projects, *sob*) is a genius and a literal angel decended from heaven. And he is such a dork (in a cute way).
I never thought I’d be so obsessed and so invested in the life of an old white guy. But to be honest, if you’re gonna be a fan of any one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton is the one. Especially the way Lin-Manuel Miranda tells his story in such a provokative manner, you can tell he’s so passionate about his story. One of my favourite quote from Miranda:
“Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional. It’s a way of pulling you into the story and allowing you to leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door. We’re telling the story of old, dead white men but we’re using actors of colour, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience.”
Hamilton is the ultimate immigrant story, which resonates so much with me, being an immigrant myself and with all this EU referendum malarky. And despite being set over 200 years ago, it still manages to stay relevant. It explores the idea of belonging, gun violence, social stature. It’s political without being off-putting – there are rap battles about creating a financial plan for the United States, for goodness sake!
I was going into this post expecting to be able to ramble so much more about Hamilton and how great it is, but to be honest, it’s easier for you guys go away and listen to it yourselves, and you’ll see what I mean. Hamilton is lively and energetic and so damn poetic, it’s hard to do it such justice in my fan-girling. One thing I will say, though, is that the cast album moved me to tears, which I can’t really say about many albums out there. It truly is so great and so moving.
My favourite tracks: Alexander Hamilton (obvs), My Shot, The Schuyler Sisters, Satisfied, Wait For It, Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down), Say No To This, Hurricane, Burn. Yes, I do realise that is a lot of favourites…
I’m gonna leave you with my favourite Lin-Manuel/Hamilton interview, and possibly my favourite interview in existence, ever. It’s quite a long one, so grab yourself a cuppa and get comfortable. If you need motivation, at the end you get Emma Watson beatboxing while Lin raps. Who can say no to that?!
Have you listened to Hamilton? What are your favourite songs? Tell me about some of your favourite musicals!