So I’m sure by now everyone has heard of Hamilton, or at least know of it. Even if you have absolutely no idea what it is, you probably heard the name.
So for those of you that don’t know.
Hamilton: An American Musical (full title) is a Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. It was inspired by the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. From what I read, Lin-Manuel said he needed something thick to read while on vacation, he picked up this biography and it gripped him. Alexander Hamilton spoke to him.
The show currently runs on Broadway and in Chicago and unless I sell both my kidneys and a lung, I will never see the show on Broadway (especially now since the Original Broadway Cast has/is moving on). The Original Cast is amazing, there are a few videos on YouTube of them performing at the White House, shows just how awesome sauce they are outside of a recorded album. They sound the same!! At least to my ears through computer speakers.
The Cast Album is the entire show. The show is sung throughout, similar to Les Miserables so luckily, you can “watch” the entire show just by listening to the album. Trust me, it’s worth it. It’s amazing.
The Obsession Begins: I cannot even begin to explain that amazingness that is this album. When it began to rise, I heard of it, I heard that it was remarkable (everyone was talking about it) and that it told Alexander Hamilton’s story (who at the time, I knew was the dude on the $10, was the Treasury Secretary and was ultimately killed by Aaron Burr in a duel) using Hip Hop and Rap as it’s storytelling basis. Already, that sounded interesting but I didn’t listen to it yet. Eventually, I got the album, but still didn’t listen to it. It wasn’t until maybe a week or so later that I decided to listen to it on the way home after dropping my older sister off at her house, which was about a thirty minute drive.
“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot…”
*bobs head to music and kind of starts snapping along*
“Pardon me, are you Aaron Burr sir?… Talk less, smile more… I’m John Laurens in the place to be… Lafayette the Lancelot of the revolutionary set… I’m Hercules Mulligan up in it, lovin’ it, yes I heard ya mother say ‘come again'”
“I am not throwing my shot… a bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionist, give a position show me where the AMMUNITION IS!…Rise up, when you’re living on your knees, you rise up… I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.”
*This is dope, deep and I think I’m in love.*
“A toast to the groom…intelligent eyes in a hunger pang frame…it’s the feeling of freedom of seeing the light it’s Ben Franklin with a key and kite, you see it right?… I’m a girl in a world in which my only job is to marry rich…I know my sister like I know my own mind, you will never find anyone as trusting or as kind… may you always be satisfied!”
*O.O. and replays song. O.O replays song*
So I pretty much replayed Satisfied like three times on the way back home, then I believe I got all the way to…Ten Duel Commandments. So I started listening to it little by little because it’s long, I actually finished the last six or seven songs while on break at work and it’s so beautiful. I reacted to words being exchanged, to insults and such good and tight lyrics. I sobbed.
The emotional trilogy that is Blow Us All Away, Stay Alive Reprise, and Quiet Uptown kills me every time. But basically, you see? I also wrote those lyrics out, I did not look them up. Ever since that day I finished the entire thing, I listened to it constantly, I played the first three songs for my parents but we didn’t get a chance to really get into it.
The Fangirling: I took to Tumblr and of course the fans are there and while I am a fan, I don’t dabble in certain fan things such as: writing fan fiction (but I do read good ones), fan art, nor do I have an Instagram or Snap Chat to follow these amazing actors. I’m not knocking those that do, trust me, I appreciate ya’ll for then sharing it on Tumblr.
I made it my business to know the lyrics, I don’t necessarily listen to or like rap music (it depends on the music, the artist and the lyrics) but this right here, I can get behind this because it incorporates so many different types of music. I mean Thomas Jefferson’s introduction song What Did I Miss? is heavily jazzy as his character is supposed to be a full generation ahead of Hamilton and the others who are fully hip hop people.
I was at work after maybe a week of listening to it, of constantly playing Satisfied, I was mouthing the lyrics while at work (I work in a public library) and my boss walks by me, stops and says “Are you talking to yourself?” I laughed awkwardly “No, I have a Hamilton song stuck in my head.” “Oh have you seen it yet?” “What? No, I would have to sell my entire life to see it right now.” “Well…” yeah pretty much lol, then a Children’s librarian, who was nearby, came up and asked which song I had in my head and I told her and ever since then we’ve been Hamilton buddies.
I love Hamilton so much that when I go to sleep, I am more or less thinking of a song, or maybe a culmination of songs and when I wake up, same thing. It’s a problem that I don’t find a problem haha.
The Hamilton’s America documentary was also amazing and I’m making a request of Lin and the powers that be. Please please please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put out the recording of the original Broadway cast, I know you have it, you said it was recorded with proper sound, lights etc and I NEED IT, so give it to the Lord of the Rings treatment. The actual show, with the documentary attached, as well as any other raw footage that wasn’t included in the documentary (let’s be real, the documentary lacked a lot of Anthony Ramos, Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Okieriete Onaodowan and Phillipa Soo) and I will relish all of it lol.
I have the Hamilton 2017 calendar, Hamilton: The Revolution book written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and… Ron Chernow’s book. So lol judge me if you like but if you have never heard this magnificence, do it, I dare you. You may not become obsessed, but you be impressed.
The little details that Miranda puts into this show is just amazing.
People of Color. This show casts people of color!!! It does seem odd that people of color are playing the Founding Fathers of America who are most definitely Caucasian BUT it works due to the music and lyrics.
The Women Rapping. Angelica Schuyler is Hamilton’s sister in law and in her song Satisfied (which is my favorite song out of 46 favorites) she raps. She is the only woman in the show to rap. Miranda uses rap as a way to show off a character’s intelligence. Hamilton does these long amazing, syllabic raps and Angelica turns around and does the same in her song, showing that she is on his intellectual level. Basically.
Eliza Schuyler is Hamilton’s wife (she is a precious saint) and while she doesn’t rap, she does beat box in the Act II, which to me shows that while she may not be able to understand everything Alexander does on an intellectual level, she’s his backbone as usually people beatbox to support rap.
Actors Double Characters. Basically, some actors portray two characters in the show. In Alexander Hamilton, the very first song, you already get a hint at that. They sing those lines as both characters.
Daveed Diggs: Lafayette, who has the fastest raps (also French accent), and Thomas Jefferson who is a completely different character, with a different style.
Okieriete Onaodowan: Hercules Mulligan (think Busta Rhymes) and James Madison, who was a sickly dude and completely different.
Anthony Ramos: John Laurens (abolitionist) and Philip Hamilton (Alexander’s son), he plays Philip in three stages of his life.
Jasmine Cephas-Jones: Peggy Schuyler (the Michelle Williams of the group) and Maria Reynolds.
“We Fought With Him” – sung by Lafayette/Jefferson and Mulligan/Madison
“Me, I died for him”- sung by Laurens/Philip
“Me, I loved him” -sung by Eliza, Angelica, Peggy/Maria
Favorite favorite songs:
My Shot- Alexander Hamilton (Miranda), John Laurens (Ramos), Lafayette (Diggs), Mulligan (Onaodowan), Aaron Burr (Odom Jr.), Ensemble.
Satisfied- Angelica Schuyler (Goldsberry), Ensemble
Wait For It- Aaron Burr (Odom Jr), Ensemble
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)- Entire
What Did I Miss?- Thomas Jefferson(Diggs), Ensemble
Take A Break- Alexander Hamilton (Odom Jr.), Philip Hamilton (Ramos), Eliza Hamilton (Soo), Angelica Schuyler (Goldsberry)
Say No To This- Aaron Burr (Odom Jr.), Alexander Hamilton (Miranda), Maria Reynolds (Cephas-Jones)
Washington On Your Side- Aaron Burr (Odom Jr.), Thomas Jefferson (Diggs), James Madison (Onaodowan)
One Last Time- George Washington (Christopher Jackson), Alexander Hamilton (Miranda), Ensemble
Burn- Eliza Hamilton nee Schuyler (Soo)
Blow Us All Away- Philip Hamilton (Ramos) and Ensemble… I do not play this song on repeat because this song…man.
I mean, I love the entire album but these are the songs that I’ll play on their own before going back to the beginning, or will repeat a few times. You’re probably thinking ‘omg, this girl is crazy’ and that’s fine. I can take that because when you embrace art such as this, it’s hard to let it go. Plus, I do this a lot with things I’m moved by, so Hamilton happens to be the latest thing but I highly doubt it’s a passing phase for me.
What’s To Come: So basically, obviously, I haven’t seen the show but I pretty much follow all of the OBC on Twitter just to keep abreast of what they do as, I’m interested to see what other work they produce. Of course Lin-Manuel Miranda has helped write the music for Disney’s Moana, he’s working on the Mary Poppins’ sequel and I think helping cast the London version of Hamilton and he just looks like he’s finally gotten rest after years of working on this show. Leslie Odom Jr. has put out a Jazz album self titled and I love it, it’s lovely as well as a Christmas Album, also beautiful. Daveed Diggs is working with his group Clppng (Clipping), was on The Get Down, on Black-ish, taken up Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street (That’s gonna be hilarious), Anthony Ramos is leaving the show to move into Spike Lee’s Netflix show She’s Gotta Have It, which I’m super excited for… but just to name a bit of what they’re doing.
So it’s sad they’re gone/leaving but it’s exciting to see what’s to come. I’ve heard snippets from the actors who’ve replaced some of the original cast, and I think they’re amazing too. I haven’t heard anything technically from Hamilton Chicago but I heard some of them outside of the show and WOW. O.O Also, Jordan Fisher (Grease Live!) is replacing Anthony Ramos as Laurens/Philip and I’m excited to start seeing him officially take over.
One thing to know about me, is that when I find something that I like, or an actor/actress I like, I make it my business to see everything they’re in (or listen to if they’re mostly singers and/or on Broadway) because I like to be supportive, especially if they are people of color.
So… lol this is all I have to say, at least right now. I still listen to Hamilton on a daily, maybe not the entire album or anything but I still play a song, or I start going through the album in my head while I’m at work. If I’m going on a long drive then I’ll definitely put my headphones in and play the entire album and sing/rap at the top of my lungs.
I’m super excited for the Hamilton Mixtape. There are four previewed clips available on iTunes, which makes me super super excited. I can’t wait for more to come. Whatever else they all put out, I am there!
Below are just a few gifs from the show. I don’t own them of course but I wanted to share.