Alexander Hamilton. The Ten Dollar. Founding Father. And now a modern musical!?Music and lyrics written by the talented Lin Manuel Miranda. Ya… the same Lin-Manuel who already has a Tony for best musical for In the Heights. His use of hip hop and rap into the musical scene is as groundbreaking as Rent‘s introduction of modern rock. Although not his first musical to use hip hop, it was the one that swept the musical scene and spilled over into the common American pop culture.
When Rent was first introduced, I didn’t like the music because of it’s use of rock ballads and guitar riffs. Little that I know that this genre would influence many of the later musicals that used this genre and other rock influences in the music. Upon first listening to Hamilton on YouTube, I was struck by the realization that hip hop has finally invaded the musical scene and was immediately hooked by the music. I was more hooked on the music than I was with In the Heights. However listening to In the Heights again, that musical has a more Latin feel using Latin American music like salsa, merengue, and samba.
Hamilton represents two things… the popularization of musicals in modern mainstream culture and the acceptance of hip hop/rap/R&B into musicals. I think the latter will have more of a larger effect for future musicals. Until the next big thing to come out of the musical world, I highly recommend trying to get face value tickets to Hamilton when it comes to a city near you.