POST: 'Hamilton' Sitting through this history lesson was pretty cool.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

American History, the class my junior year of high school was probably the last time I came across anything American history related. When I heard this show described to me as "American Revolution people rapping," I became intrigued. Sure, rapping is cool and all, but how can a show manage to incorporate rap into the story of a prominent figure during the creation of our nation. It sounded to me that the show was going to resemble a V/H/S tape's attempt to make American history cool to fifth graders. However, with all the buzz surrounding Hamilton... I looked forward to seeing it. 

The show opened with characters introducing Andrew Hamilton in a rap. I was instantly feeling it...


The show went on with its smooth raps and clever ways to tell Hamilton's story. It also included a rap battle between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson that I admittedly was getting way too excited over... 

And I was not the only one getting excited either. The abundance of high school kids that were present in the audience were feeling all the rap numbers too. Even though they were a little too excited at times with their "ooohhhhhhhhhh" after almost every rap punchline, it was amazing to see how the creators of the show could make the experience of learning about Alexander Hamilton interesting to us city kids. Hamilton and the American Revolution boys were "spitting bars" as my fellow city kids would say. I was in shock how they pulled it off. I appreciate good rap and I think Hamilton delivered. Being that good rap and express train rides on my way home have to be tied for first on the list of things that I enjoy while living in the city, this show is definitely a new favorite of mine.  

The show was so much more than a rap musical, however; the story of Alexander Hamilton is as memorable as any story of anyone that I have ever heard. The responsibility of constructing the foundation of our country is already an unfathomable task.  An orphan immigrant who propels himself into all the major discussions and decisions of the nation's history was amazing to see. A man with such conviction and belief in what he thought was right obviously caused some opposition, but none of it deterred him from accomplishing feats: such as the establishment of our national bank. Despite Hamilton growing up in difficult circumstances and all of his rivals trying to thwart his plans on his way to "founding father" status, there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to accomplish what he set out to do. Hamilton gave off an aura of a warrior with unmatched persistence and drive. Seeing that was the the best part of the show. 

Even with the majority of the show being in rap, the way that the story of Alexander Hamilton was told was actually very informative. I barely knew anything about this founding father of the United States before this show. At the age of 17 he already showed his intelligence and his strong grasp of politics through his writings. He was George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and his unparalleled work ethic led to the creation of some of our nation's most important documents. The show was not just a lecture in rap about Hamilton; there was plenty of drama as well. His affair with his wife and his quarrels with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were huge parts of Hamilton's story. Who would have known that it was possible that I can learn all that through a rap? And also, why isn't Hamilton recognized and praised as much as the other founding fathers? I would certainly put him up there with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and even George Washington. The work that Hamilton has done for this country, his implementations that are still in effect today, cannot be overstated. I am surprised to say, for the first time in my life, sitting through this history lesson was pretty cool.