Hip-Hop and History In ‘Hamilton’ On Broadway

I’ve always wanted to see the lights of Broadway.

Growing up in the South (Virginia), you can only imagine the twinkle in my eyes when I saw those lights for the first time. Those lights lit a fire within me when I moved to New York seven years ago; and a walk down Broadway on a beautiful, summer evening in the city still feels like a dream. My recent trip to the famed avenue to experience the critically-acclaimed musical, Hamilton, felt no different.

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Hamilton is one of the premier shows to experience on Broadway. For that reason, it has been on my bucket list for years. But, as fate would have it, I’d finally experience the show in person with my roommate, Jasmine, who also loves theater, dancing, and unsolicited rap cyphers. 

If you don’t know what Hamilton is about, let me fill you in. This musical takes place in 18th century America and tells the history of Alexander Hamilton and his role in the American Revolution and the founding of our country. The best part of Hamilton on Broadway is that the cast is diverse, the music is influenced by hip-hop and the musical keeps you engaged the whole time. 

(Spoiler Alert: Hamilton features a rap battle between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, and it was one of the most historic battles I’ve ever seen.)

We made our way from Brooklyn to Broadway, and in true New York fashion, we caught an Uber to the train. Unfortunately, the commute via car was much longer than the train, and I couldn’t live with myself had we missed the show. 

Once we arrived, we took many photos, checked out the merch, secured our seats, and waited for the show to begin. 

When the first beat dropped and four Black male actors appeared on stage, portraying the founding fathers, I knew at that very moment that Hamilton was going to be nothing I expected it to be, yet everything I could have ever wanted it to be.

The play featured rap lyrics from former VP Aaron Burr, “I’m a trust fund baby, you can trust me.” Followed by the cast shouting chants like “meet him inside” – a remix of the late DMX’s “meet me outside” lyrics.  

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Of course, my favorite moment was the rap battle. But the choreography introduced another level of perfection. What other Broadway musical features James Madison, a Founding Father of the United States, doing the “chicken head” dance?

Someone cue “Right Thurr” by Chingy. IYKYK. 

As you can see, the surprisingly perfect combination of hip-hop and history had me in complete awe. And the delicate details of American History delivered through every rehearsed line, 8-count, and physical expression gave me a deeper understanding of the origin story of America. 

Still, Hamilton didn’t feel like a history lesson. Instead, this one-of-a-kind experience felt more like a reminder that there’s power and possibilities in a dream.    

We ended the night with renewed perspectives, a newfound appreciation for theater, and a new soundtrack to add to our playlists. And to top it off, I can officially cross Hamilton off my bucket list.

Ready to experience Hamilton for yourself? Check out showtimes here and grab your tickets to the best show on Broadway!


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