If you haven’t heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda before, and you love classic hip hop, then you MUST check him out. Now, I’ll be honest that I’m a fan of Broadway musicals but before you start judging, what Lin has created is amazing.
Miranda has already won a Tony Award for his first Broadway hit ‘In The Heights’ which is a rap musical that talks about the life of people in Washington Heights, NY. Lin grew up in the area and wanted to write a show that talked about his life, things going on today, and something people could relate to. He also starred in the musical, showing off his incredible rap skills in the role of Usnavi.
After In The Heights, Miranda took a vacation and picked up a copy of the autobiography of Alexander Hamilton. He couldn’t put it down because he felt that Hamilton “embodi[ed] hip-hop.” So the concept of a Rap album based on the founding father begin and eventually became a Broadway musical hit. Miranda even performed one of the songs for President Obama long before the show hit the stage. You can watch the clip here.
So how does a Rap Musical about someone over 200 years ago become #1 on Billboard’s Rap album? It’s because nearly every song takes from classic rap artists that you already love. In an article by Forrest Wickman, he breaks down each song in the show and which rap artists influenced the show. If you like Snoop Dogg, DMX, Drake, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Bun B, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Mobb Depp, Notorious BIG, and more, then you will love this album.
Lin-Manual has been a personal hero for me because he took his love for something that many people think is weird (musical theater) and he is making it mainstream. He is not afraid of who he is and where his talent can take him. He took his talent and made a name for himself in an unusual situation. He was even featured on 60 Minutes for creating Hamilton (Watch).
If this article has piqued your interest and you’re wondering how a Broadway musical is the #1 Billboard Rap Album, then you can listen to the entire album below and see for yourself.