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Here's What Inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda To Write A Musical About Alexander Hamilton

Here's What Inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda To Write A Musical About Alexander Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda is opening up about just how the idea of a hip-hop musical of Hamilton came to him.

In several interviews, the 40-year-old composer revealed that he was about to go on vacation when he randomly picked up a biography on the founding father.

“I was just browsing the biography section. It could have been Truman,” he told 60 Minutes. “I got to the part where a hurricane destroys St. Croix, where Hamilton is living. And he writes a poem about the carnage and this poem gets him off the island.”

“That is part and parcel with the hip-hop narrative: writing your way out of your circumstances, writing the future you want to see for yourself…This is a guy who wrote at 14, ‘I wish there was a war.’ It doesn’t get more hip-hop than that.”

Lin added in another interview with Vogue that after reading that part of the book, he “Googled ‘Alexander Hamilton hip-hop musical’ and totally expected to see that someone had already written it. But no. So I got to work.”

After wrapping up his vacation, it actually took Lin a full year more to write the musical’s first song, “My Shot”.

“Every couplet needed to be the best couplet I ever wrote,” he recalled to 60 Minutes. “That’s how seriously I was taking it.”

Hamilton also didn’t start out as a straight musical show either. The plan was for it to be just a mixtape.

“I always had an eye toward the stage for the story of Hamilton’s life, but I began with the idea of a concept album, the way Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar were albums before they were musicals,” he shared with Hollywood Reporter. “And I built this score by dream casting my favorite artists…”

Lin adds, “It was easier to think of it as a hip-hop album, because then I could really just pack the lyrics. [But] I only know how to write musicals.”

If you missed it, see what star Phillipa Soo shared about the meaning behind the gasp at the end of the show.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda

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