‘Hamilton’ Creator Mixes It Up

MW-EO936_hamilt_MG_20160608222803.jpg

‘The Hamilton Mixtape,’ a 23-track mashup from the Broadway smash, will be released Dec. 2, a report by JOHN JURGENSEN for the Wall Street Journal.

The long-awaited musical spinoff to “Hamilton” has a release date.

“The Hamilton Mixtape,” a 23-track mashup featuring rap and pop stars reinterpreting tracks from the Broadway smash, will be released on Atlantic Records Dec. 2. Preorders are underway for the album, which also includes unreleased tunes that were part of the show’s evolution.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda announced the details late last week, revealing the cover art and track listing for the project he has been working on “for years.” Two songs were released in advance Thursday night.

The star-stacked list of contributors reflects the crossover power of a show that drew rabid fans from all corners of the entertainment world. The lineup ranges from mainstream veterans, such as Kelly Clarkson, Jill Scott, Sia and Usher, to rising acts including rapper Dessa and singer Andra Day.

The album also offers some artistic reciprocity, allowing Mr. Miranda to play host to some of the artists who influenced the music in his show. He does a rendition of “Wrote My Way Out” with seminal New York rapper Nas, along with Dave East and Aloe Blacc.

Ja Rule, whose gruff vocals Mr. Miranda mimicked in the song “Helpless,” re-teams with his early-aughts duet partner Ashanti for a spin on the musical’s central love song.

Members of the Roots helped produce the “Hamilton Mixtape,” along with the show’s previously released cast recording. The group’s “Tonight Show” colleague Jimmy Fallon came on board to do King George’s breakup song, “You’ll Be Back.”

The band appears on multiple tracks, including signature anthem “My Shot.” That track features Busta Rhymes, another “Hamilton” touchstone, and rapper Joell Ortiz—who, like Mr. Miranda, was born to Puerto Rican parents in New York—and vocals by fun singer Nate Ruess.

Hardcore “Hamilton” fans have also been anticipating the release of Mr. Miranda’s demo recordings of songs that didn’t make it into the musical, including “Valley Forge” and “Slavery Battle.”

The mixtape concept plays a primary role in the show’s origin story. In 2009, when Mr. Miranda first performed an early version of “Alexander Hamilton” at the White House, the song was intended for a project he referred to as the “Hamilton Mixtape.” Only later did it evolve into a full-fledged musical.

As “Hamilton” won awards by the dozen and recently opened in Chicago, the mixtape represented a piece of unfinished business for Mr. Miranda.

As recently as October, he referred to his last-minute work on new material for the album.

One thought on “‘Hamilton’ Creator Mixes It Up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s