How Rap Works So Well in ‘Hamilton’

Songwriting playwright Howard Ho took an incredibly detailed look at how Lin-Manuel Miranda strategically used rap in Hamilton as a metaphor for the argumentative climate of politics then and now.

Ho first reviewed the history of rhythmic speech within musicals, early rap musicals, historical musicals, and, specifically hip-hop focused musicals and how they literally set the stage for Hamilton to blow us all away.

Ho further explains how rap embodies how Alexander Hamilton made himself exceptional by using his talent for writing. It was also Hamilton’s use of language that made him an excellent debater, which again showcases a rhythmic cadence and a prolific amount of words, similar to rap songs. Ho also talks about how all of these features work so very well in an unlikely rap musical about a Founding Father can be so successful in modern culture.

How does rap / hiphop work so dang well in Hamilton even though it’s about the Founding Fathers, people who have no business rapping? Well, in this multi-part video series I will delve into the myriad of reasons how rap works in Hamilton.

Ho, in other video talks about stage vs. street vernacular, the use of homage and the early Broadways inspirations that utimately led to the success of Hamilton.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.