I don’t know when I don’t know how but somewhere during the 25 years of my life I grew a keen appreciation for the art of musicals. I think Disney movies such as High School Musical first got my attention.Then Incredible movies such as Mama Mia which starred the great Meryl Streep got me really interested in the genre. and then the masterpiece of Les Miserables got me hooked. But then I heard about another form of musical theater that is native to New York City called as Broadway! And finally, I discovered Hamilton it was one of the best listening experience I have ever had.
“There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait”- Alexander Hamilton
Who is Hamilton and how I got interested in it?
So, Hamilton is a Broadway musical written and produced by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda. This show is the story of an unheard and unknown founding father of USA, Alexander Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton was the right-hand man of George Washington and man responsible for the federal banking system of USA. And he was a pretty big deal in the cabinet but due to his unfortunate death, he was never remembered as much as the other founding fathers. But with this musical Lin changed that, with this masterpiece, the story of Hamilton has now become a legend.
Being an Indian living in India dreaming about the American Dream, I always have my eyes set on things happening in the US. I have my eyes trained such that I am able to identify events which are unique and interesting. And Hamilton jumped in front of me like a huge light bulb pointing straight into my eyes. Even when I was in the US for my short trip I was hearing all about a great musical coming soon to Chicago but I was not able to attend it. So when one day I stumbled upon a video of Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a Hamilton song on Youtube, I was shocked. And as I started watching those videos I ended up binge watching everything there was on youtube regarding Hamilton.
But I was not satisfied because Youtube obviously did not have all the songs of the show and I was desperate to listen to the entire story. That’s when Apple Music came to my help and I found the album on it and I binged it all in one sitting. And that is when it became instantly apparent to me why Hamilton was such a hit in the US. Why people love it so much so that they will do anything to get a ticket.
What is so special about Hamilton?
It became so popular because Lin is a genius and he used the most culturally relevant medium to tell the most relatable story. The entire musical is a Hip-Hop album, every song is a rap battle between the characters and each character has so much relatability with the listener. Americans being the originators of Hip-Hop and Rap obviously got hooked on the creatively written lyrics of this show. Each song describes a part of the story of Hamilton in the most entertaining and engaging way using incredible lyrics. These lyrics are the reason I was hooked the first time I ever heard a song of the show.
And then the characters of this story are so well developed and then used throughout the show that at the end it feels like you know them personally. Some characters you hate from the start, then some character you fall in love the moment they come in and some characters you never come to realize were so pivotal to the entire story.
The perfect mixing and matching of songs and characters to tell this incredible story are the reason you fall in love with it. Because as the story moves forward you laugh, you smile, you get angry, you get sad and at the end, you cry and you cry and you cry. I believe Stephen Colbert describes perfectly the feelings you go through the show.
Trust me that is how you will feel when you listen to it the first time, the second time and then forever. So, if you have the slightest of interest in Musicals, American History, Lin-Manuel Miranda or Hip-Hop/Rap music go ahead and listen to this album immediately. I promise it will be an amazing experience.
Also published on Medium.