Pop culture is not over “Hamilton” quite yet. Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer of the music, lyrics and book for the hit Broadway musical, released “The Hamilton Mixtape” earlier this month.
“The Mixtape” was Miranda’s concept that grew into the Pulitzer-Prize winning musical. The album is a mix of hip-hop, R&B and pop. It features a number of A-list artists like Sia, Alicia Keys, Wiz Kalifa and Usher with an appearance by comedian and late-night host Jimmy Fallon. It also features lesser known artists like K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC and Residente.
The album takes the original musical theatre-style songs and remixes them. “Helpless,” sung by Ja Rule and Ashanti, will take listeners back to the early 2000s when their collaborations were all over the airwaves. Ashanti and Ja Rule’s vocals transform this musical theatre love song into an R&B lover’s dream.
Another song featured on the mixtape, Usher’s “Wait For It,” has similar qualities to the original performance by Leslie Odom Jr. The similar vocal tones make it the perfect song for someone who loves the music in “Hamilton” but doesn’t want to be associated with Broadway.
There are many new songs on the album as well. One of the strongest new tracks on the mixtape is “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done).” Originally a line in the song “Battle of Yorktown,” “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” is an anthem to those who feel like outsiders in the U.S. in a time where the word “immigrant” is almost a dirty word. This song broadcasts immigrant pride to the world and celebrates it with Spanish and English mixed together perfectly.
Though not performing these songs on stage, Miranda is hardly on the sidelines. The Tony Award winner has two new songs on the tape and is featured with The Roots on another. In these, Miranda shows his impeccable rapping skills and mixes politics, pop culture, history and musical theatre references flawlessly.
This isn’t the last Hamilton Mixtape. Volume II is in the works and has no release date yet, but Miranda teased on his Twitter that hit songs like “The Room Where it Happens” and “One Last Time” will be on the second volume. With “The Hamilton Mixtape’s” success, it is safe to say that #BoycottHamilton isn’t happening anytime soon. Even if you aren’t a fan of the original, this album has a little something for everyone.
“The Hamilton Mixtape” is now available on iTunes and Spotify.