Alexander Hamilton. A Founding Father who is every where these days. Sure, you see him on your $10 bill all of the time. But lately, Hamilton is just about the hottest celebrity. Why? Well, it’s all thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his modern musical hit.
Perhaps you watched the Grammy Awards and saw the cast of Hamilton perform the show’s opening number live. Maybe you’ve seen pieces about the musical and its creator on Sunday morning television or perhaps you’ve read one of the countless articles about it. Either way, it’s the hottest Broadway ticket in years and everything about the show has entered pop culture officially.
History, Music, Hip-Hop, Rap Battles, Love Stories, War, Duels and One Incredible Story.
Nothing like this has ever been done before and it’s just about blowing minds all over the globe. The Grammy Awards were really the first time most Americans were able to see what all the fuss was about and it’s so protected that a legal video of the performance is not available on YouTube, but you can head over to Vulture to watch the official CBS video.
Can you feel the energy and excitement?
The Hamilton Soundtrack
Believe it or not, Hamilton didn’t make its Broadway debut until August 2015. But tickets are sold out, prices are high, and every day a lottery is hosted where hundreds of people enter to try and win free tickets to show. How many tickets do they give out at each performance? Just twelve. But the Grammy-award winning soundtrack is at the library just waiting for you! After one listen you’ll be sucked into the story of our “Founding Father without a Father” and even if hip-hop isn’t your usual cup of tea, you’ll soon have favorite tracks on repeat and be singing along in no time. With Hoopla you don’t even have to wait for it. You can have hip-hop and American history right at your fingers immediately. Once you become addicting to the musical’s fast-paced and gut-wrenching songs, you can read all about the making of the broadway hit by reading Lin-Manual Miranda’s Hamilton book and see real-life photos of the actors and the stage.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
One of the best things about Hamilton the musical is just how much you’ll learn as you’re listening to the music tell his story. Just how did a Broadway composer know so much about a Founding Father? Well, he started here. Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton is the basis of the musical. In fact, this book is the first full-length biography ever written about Hamilton and spans the life of Hamilton from his boyhood in the Caribbean to his untimely death by duel. Pick up the book as you listen (or before) and you’ll surely impress friends, family, and office mates with your in-depth knowledge of Alexander and America’s birth. You can also check out a digital audio version of the book . digitally too.
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
One of the ways you can tell you’ve officially caught Hamilton fever is that you’re eager to dive deep into history and learn more about America’s birth than just what you learned in high school. Originally published anonymously, The Federalist Papers first appeared in 1787 as a series of letters to New York newspapers exhorting voters to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States. You probably remember learning a little bit about them as a student and might even remember that there were 85 of these letters. But one of the very first facts I learned after listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack is that John Jay got sick after writing just five, James Madison composed 29 letters, but Alexander Hamilton wrote the other 51! Many copies of The Federalist Papers are available through the library collection as they have been studied and debated throughout generations.
It’s a rare moment when a musical enters our pop culture lexicon with such force. Hamilton doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon and you might be surprised to find how much you enjoy the history lessons along with the music…even if musicals and hip-hop aren’t normally what you listen to. And if you find yourself caught up in Hamilton fever? Raise your glass to freedom!