Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Hip Hop? Hip Hop on Broadway? Although at first these concepts might seem completely unrelated, “The Hamilton Mixtape”—merging hip hop and theater—has recently opened as part of New York City’s Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. Inspired by Ron Chernow’s book, Alexander Hamilton, the act comes alive with its hip-hop rock fusion.
Between Alexander Hamilton rapping that death is just a beat without a melody or arguing (and rapping) with Aaron Burr, American history and hip hop liven up—and merge—in this dynamic show. But considering that Hamilton feuded with Burr in a territorial clash, it is easy to extrapolate the beef to hip hop—say, Tupac and Biggie Smalls.
So while it may have taken a leap to merge hip hop and our founding fathers, and while the flow may be dubious, this fusion may be what is needed to get the music theater movement rolling again.