It’s been six months since the first Hamilton Mixtape arrived. Today they released a video for one of their most powerful tracks.
The Hamilton Mixtape is one of the smartest moves Lin-Manuel Miranda made in a slew of them to promote Hamilton: The Musical. The musical was broadway-cum-rap to teach kids history. The mixtape then turned the trick back on itself to get those who couldn’t stand the broadway-ification of the hiphop genre.
(It also smartly got one of white america’s heroes, Kelly Clarkson, to sing a number, guaranteeing that the most genericall, inoffensively bland of radio stations would even be able to play a song from the musical.)
Two of the most powerful tracks from the album are true “mixtape” joints. Rappers take inspiration from one or two lines from the original number in the musical, and instead of doing a straight cover, lay down their own verses reflecting their own experiences, and why that song spoke to them. The first is “Wrote My Way Out”, which features Miranda himself on a verse.
The second one is the politically charged “Immigrants” taken from a throwaway line in “The Battle of Yorktown.” This morning, Miranda released a full video for the number, which seems only all the more timely.
For the record, it wasn’t until I saw the video today that I realized “Riz MC” is actually the same person as Riz Ahmed from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (I knew they sounded kinda the same, but I figured it was too much of a coincidence that Miranda got him to lay down a track mere weeks before he became a household name in the nerd world. Getting the job done indeed.)
If anyone need me, I’ll be listening to this track on repeat for the rest of the week.