Okay, so it’s no secret that I love Hamilton, the musical. And before you ask, no I haven’t seen Hamilton the musical. But I’ve listened to the soundtrack more than I can publicly would like to admit. So today was one of the more glorious days of 2016. Today was the release of The Hamilton Mixtape.
What is the Hamilton Mixtape, you say?
Omgggg what rock are you living under?
So The Hamilton Mixtape is a beautiful amalgamation of talent. Shortly put. I can’t really utter the words to correctly convey how amazing it is….so just go listen for yourself. And then come back to this post (and agree with me.)
In the mean time, if you haven’t been residing under a rock, pat yourself on the back, pour yourself a (boozy) beverage and enjoy my witty review of the Hamilton Mixtape.
No John Trumbull (Intro) x The Roots – So let me start by saying all the Interludes should’ve been full-fledged songs. This was a great opening to a magnificent mixtape. Approved!
My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz, Nate Reuss) x The Roots – You know how you love a song and foolishly think, there’s nothing that can op than this? Well, Lin-Manuel set out to prove us wrong. It’s like a love on love on love sandwich. Definitely a motivational move.
Wrote My Way Out x Nas, Dave East, Aloe Blacc and Lin-Manuel Miranda – Bruh. This is one of my top 7 favorites. First, we start out with Aloe Blacc’s beautiful voice. Soul-y, while not doing the most. He’s singing in melody with Lin-Manuel’s hook in Hurricane (from the OG soundtrack). Then Nas starts with these lines:
I picked up the pen like Hamilton
Street analyst, now I write words that try to channel ‘em
No political power, just lyrical power
And then I’m officially relocated to the upper room and it’s all Nas’ fault. And then Lin-Manuel ads to my death by lyrics with these lines later on in the song:
My mind is where the wild things are, Maurice Sendak
In withdrawal, I want it all, please give me that pen back
Y’all, I caught my first beatin’ from the other kids when I was caught readin’
“Oh, you think you smart? Blah! Start bleedin'”
My pops tried in vain to get me to fight back
Sister tapped my brains, said, pssh, you’ll get ’em right back
Oversensitive, defenseless, I made sense of it, I pencil in
Geeky might not seem cool in middle school, but dammit if Lin-Manuel ain’t winning, now!
Lyrically induced eargasms all through this song.
Wait For It x Usher – It was okay. It was just Usher, some extra runs and Wait For It from the original soundtrack.
An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) x Watsky (Interlude) – This interlude hundred percent needed to be a full song. So it was a play off when Hamilton reads John Adams in “The Adams Administration. Or, I’ll say it was an extended read. I wanted it to extend on and on and on. Because I love the shade.
You’re a nuisance with no sense
You’ll die of irrelevance
Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) x Sia – This was a remake of Satisfied, with Sia singing as Angelika, Miguel singing as Hamilton and Queen Latifah rapping as Angelika. Poor Miguel didn’t get much shine, but it was hard to shine in a field of stars. I loved Sia’s weird echo part when she is singing her reasons. I love Queen Latifah. Period.
Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) x Regina Spektor – I don’t really like this song on the original soundtrack, but it is mostly stemmed out of the fact that I don’t really like Aaron Burr. BUT I love Regina Spektor, so I gave it a listen. Not very different from the OG, but Regina Spektor.
Valley Forge (Demo) x Lin-Manuel Miranda – So this song was basically a play on when George Washington was “despondent” in Stay Alive on the OG soundtrack. It was cut from the show, but I’m so glad Lin-Manuel saw fit to bring it back for The Hamilton Mixtape. Because, AMAZING. I would definitely put it in my top 7.
Congress, I beg of you, justify your existence
This lyric seems relevant even today. *side eyes America*
It’s Quiet Uptown x Kelly Clarkson – This song was a remake from the OG Soundtrack with the amazingness that is Kelly Clarkson. Except she came for all of your feelings and you just had to give it to her. Sheesh. It’s one of my faves, with the caveat that you’re going to be in your good feelings for a minute. Bring supplies.
That Would Be Enough x Alicia Keys – It was sufficient, at best.
Immigrants (We Get the Job Done) x K’naan, Snow The Product, Riz MC, Residente – Okay so I know it sounds like every song (except a few) is my favorite, but this is on my short list of most favored. I think it’s just a beautiful rallying cry of people who were the unsung heroes of the Revolution, yet never get their stories told. It’s a play off of a quote from “The Battle of Yorktown” in the OG soundtrack. Which also happens to be only of my most favored songs, too.
You’ll Be Back x Jimmy Fallon and The Roots – I skipped this because I can’t with Jimmy Fallon singing.
Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) x Ashanti – A remake from the OG soundtrack. I was fine with Ashanti. I didn’t want Ja Rule to be repeating my beloved Hamilton’s words. Not with that voice. Not in 2016. Nelly was busy? They couldn’t have recorded at separate times?
Take a Break (Interlude) x !llmind – Basically it was the part where Phillip was singing French numbers with Eliza, but with a dope beat. I can dig it.
Say Yes to This x Jill Scott – Jill Scott showed us exactly how she can take your founding father with absolutely no facks given. I might have written a few lines down for future reference. Might. Have. This song was completely from her viewpoint, unlike the song on the OG soundtrack with a similar title (Say No to This). But that’s fine. One of my Hamilton mixtape faves.
Congratulations x Dessa – Okay, so today this is my favorite song. Angelika read Hamilton for filth this song. Wait. Not filth. FILF. She was like, congrats…you’re dumb af for cheating on my sister. It had some lines from The Reynolds Pamphlet on the OG soundtrack. Stupendous. Magnificent. I’ll probably reference this in my everyday language.
Burn x Andra Day – This is a close second favorite. Andra Day just refused to let me have edges on this good Friday. But she also deserved this Grade A African hair for the way she sang this song. While it was mostly a remake, she took it to the next level.
Stay Alive (Interlude) x J. Period, Stro Elliot – Again, it was a part of Stay Alive that was remixed with a dope beat. Boom.
Cabinet Battle #3 (Demo) x Lin-Manuel – So this was another song that got cut, but was so good. It was a debate about slavery and its abolishment. Though it clearly didn’t go in our favor, it definitely would have added more to the narrative of Hamilton/Laurens as staunch supporters of abolition. Also, Thomas J and his entire clique.
Washingtons By Your Side x Wiz Khalifa – This song felt like Wiz accidentally wandered into the room and was like, what are we doing here? Oh, I can rap about money? Great.
It’s cute, but it doesn’t add much to the overall narrative to me.
History Has Its Eyes On You x John Legend – A remake of the OG soundtrack. As churchy as they made John Legend sound, I wish they would’ve tapped Uncle Anthony for this one. He already has all his music searches eclipsed by Hamilton, it was the least we could do.
Who Tells Your Story (feat. Ingrid Michaelson, Common) x The Roots – This song was good, but at this point, I was suffering from serious sensory overload. I’ll have to circle back on this one at a later date. Common, like always had wonderfully deep lyrics.
Dear Theodora (Reprise) x Chance the Rapper, Francis the Lights – Chance is called a rapper for a reason, and should never be allowed to start a song off-key again. Again, don’t really like this song so I didn’t need to hear it twice.
I looooooved this mixtape SO hard. They took the beautiful thing that was the OG soundtrack and made it unimaginably more amazing. Lin-Manuel, I don’t know how you keep doing it, but you do. My last suggestion is to get Destiny’s Child to reunite for “The Schuyler Sisters”. I can already hear Michelle singing “And Peggy”.
How did you enjoy the Hamilton Mixtape? What’s your favorite song? Share this post with your favorite Hamilton fans and be sure to post your thoughts below!