October 05, 2015
When most people hear the word “musical”, they dismiss it with an eye-roll. Musicals have the stereotype of including jazz hands and smiles — which seems to turn a lot of people off.
This is different.
Hamilton is a new Broadway musical by Lin Manuel Mirada, recent winner of the “Genius Grant” by the MacArthur Foundation Fellows. The show follows the life and death of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The album includes most of the show from beginning to end, so listening to it tells the whole story. I know, it sounds boring, but here are 10 reasons why it’s not:
10) It’s told through rap and R&B:
From the first few notes of the opening song, the album is mostly rap. If you aren’t paying attention to the lyrics, you would probably confuse it for mainstream album. The lyrics are poetic and flow amazingly together. If you’re like me, rap is probably not your first choice of music to listen to. Trust me, this is different.
9) The album emulates America today:
In the musical, the Founding Fathers and other characters are played mainly by minorities. Even better, each character seems to reflect today’s celebrities. For example, the Schuyler sisters (Hamilton’s wife and sister-in-law,) sound a lot like Destiny’s Child, Hamilton has a bit of a Kanye feel and King George sounds like the Beatles.
8) It may very well be on the radio soon:
According to this article, Lin Manuel Mirada thinks the music could end up playing on the radio. Honestly, it’s that good.
7) You’ll learn something:
That’s right; you can call yourself a bit of a history buff. Sure, the show may take a little creative liberty, but as a whole it’s based off a thick biography on Alexander Hamilton that Mirada read a few years ago. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll pick up just by listening to it a few times.
6) POTUS and FLOTUS have seen it.
Both Obama and Michelle have seen a run of the show, which is pretty cool.
5) It’s fresh:
Musicals and rap are two things that very rarely work together. Musicals are seen as jazz hands and showtunes; very rarely do you see something like this that changes the game. It’s sort of like peanut butter and Oreos — it shouldn’t work, but it totally does.
4) It tells the whole story:
That’s right; Benjamin Franklin wasn’t just a bifocal-wearing guy with a kite. Every Founding Father had some baggage. They weren’t perfect people. It puts the human element back into history.
3) America and Freedom:
Even if you’re not patriotic, it’s hard not to get chills at the end of the song “The World Turned Upside-Down,” the moment in the album where we won the Revolutionary War. There’s also a moment when “The Federalists Papers” are being written that is pretty goose-bump-worthy.
2) It’s (probably) the next Wicked:
You probably know what Wicked is. The reason you know what Wicked is, is because it made a cultural impact. Every few years, there’s a musical that goes mainstream. I am 90 percent sure that Hamilton is going to just that.
With all of the negative news surrounding America these days, it’s hard to be proud of living here. Hamilton reminds us where we came from as a nation. It shows what binds us together and why we are who we are. It’s on Spotify right now. Just click play.