Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda claimed hip-hop as “the language of revolution and our greatest American art form” during an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.
The Broadway musical turned Disney+ movie dramatizes the journey of Alexander Hamilton, who rose from near poverty to become an American Founding Father. Miranda said the production honors the rhetoric of legendary hip-hop artists such as Busta Rhymes, Mob Deep, DMX, and the late The Notorious B.I.G.
“They write so brilliantly that they transcend their circumstances and they change the world literally through the power of their pen and their delivery and their oratory,” Miranda told Lowe. “That’s the fundamental idea in it. That’s why it’s such a love letter to hip-hop.”
Miranda continued: “I want the kids who just only know musical theater when they pick up their liner notes to see, ‘Contains a sample from Ten Crack Commandments by Notorious B.I.G.’ If you like this musical, you owe it to yourself to listen to the hip hop that you maybe weren’t listening to because that’s the reason this exists, its my love for hip-hop.”
Miranda credits his love for hip-hop to his Bronx, New York upbringing and his sister’s “good taste” in 90s music, such as De La Soul, Wu-Tang Clan, Black Sheep‘s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, A Tribe Called Quest, and Dr. Dre‘s The Chronic.
He continued, “The fact that Hamilton is the first successful hip-hop musical and hip-hop is 40 years old tells you everything you need to know about how late change comes to the very siloed, very white world of theater.”
By Rachel George
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