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Toward a More Perfect Hamilton

Toward a More Perfect Hamilton MARVIN McALLISTER In their fascinating libretto, Hamilton: The Revolution (2016), Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter interviewed Questlove, iconic hip-hop drummer for The Roots, who openly admitted "[i]t's been a while since hip hop has been able to show its brilliance . . . now it's sort of coasting." Hip-hop first emerged in the 1970s as a counterculture rooted in the issues and aspirations of primarily black and brown people, a hybrid music that drew inspiration from divergent cultural streams. Hip-hop culture has always been driven by an often materialistic ambition to move from margins to the center of American music, art, and fashion. In recent times, the culture seems to have lost its way, forgotten its roots, as it fixated on building brands and being famous. Then along came Hamilton. And according to Questlove, this groundbreaking fusion of hip-hop, R&B, pop music, and Broadway tunes proved "we still got it."1 Miranda's mission was to prove, once and for all, hip-hop's storytelling prowess in conventional theatrical practice. Miranda and his team realized they could have never staged so much of Ron Chernow's densely packed Alexander Hamilton (2004) biography without hip-hop's verbal Marvin McAllister is an associate professor of African http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Toward a More Perfect Hamilton

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 37 (2) – May 24, 2017

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

MARVIN McALLISTER In their fascinating libretto, Hamilton: The Revolution (2016), Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter interviewed Questlove, iconic hip-hop drummer for The Roots, who openly admitted "[i]t's been a while since hip hop has been able to show its brilliance . . . now it's sort of coasting." Hip-hop first emerged in the 1970s as a counterculture rooted in the issues and aspirations of primarily black and brown people, a hybrid music that drew inspiration from divergent cultural streams. Hip-hop culture has always been driven by an often materialistic ambition to move from margins to the center of American music, art, and fashion. In recent times, the culture seems to have lost its way, forgotten its roots, as it fixated on building brands and being famous. Then along came Hamilton. And according to Questlove, this groundbreaking fusion of hip-hop, R&B, pop music, and Broadway tunes proved "we still got it."1 Miranda's mission was to prove, once and for all, hip-hop's storytelling prowess in conventional theatrical practice. Miranda and his team realized they could have never staged so much of Ron Chernow's densely packed Alexander Hamilton (2004) biography without hip-hop's verbal Marvin McAllister is an associate professor of African

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 24, 2017

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