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Don't Tell Me Hip-Hop Isn't Musical Theatre

Opinions matter (but so do facts)!

In case you've been living under a rock for the past three years, Hamilton is an American musical set in the late 18th Century following the life of Americas first ever Treasury Secretary and founding father, Alexander Hamilton.

With music and lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton took Broadway (and America) by storm when it opened in 2015. But what makes this show such a phenomenon is not just the story line or the character arcs, but the fact that almost all of the songs are in the style of hip-hop/modern pop.

I first came across the musical when the original Broadway cast performed at the 2016 Grammy Awards, picking up the award for Best Musical Theatre Album whilst there. I watched back on YouTube, the performance of the shows opening number "Alexander Hamilton" and I was hooked. I was totally blown away by the set, the direction, the choreography, the music, the actors' performances. Everything was just great, and within 48 hours I had downloaded he soundtrack and learned most of the songs by heart. It was the best thing I had ever heard.

But hey. That's just my opinion.

And what's great about opinions is everybody has them but not everybody agrees. And often enough opinions can create healthy discussions or sometimes debates.

It's not a very well kept secret that I think Hamilton is the greatest musical ever written. I've never felt more emotionally connected to a piece of art than I do to this. But I have friends who really can't stand it, it's not their cup of tea, and that's fine.

I'm connected to a couple of different Facebook groups where musicals are celebrated and talked about. One of which is a Hamilton Appreciation site where people share their love for the show, anecdotes from when they saw it and pictures of them meeting the cast etc.

But last week I did see one post that made me think. It went along the lines of:

STATUS: Can you believe some people don't like Hamilton?!

As you can imagine on a Hamilton APPRECIATION site, such comments followed as "They're wrong, it's amazing!" & "They're just idiots who don't know a great show when they see one."

On the one hand I agree, because I can't see why or how anyone could dislike so a work of art. But actually, everybody is different. We all have different favourite foods, different favourite films, even different favourite shops!! If everybody liked the same thing, the world would be boring, and there'd be no conversation, no debate and no discussion.

I love explaining why I love what I love and I love hearing how people see things differently.

Your opinion is your opinion. Own it. Don't let anyone tell you you're wrong.

As a musical theatre fan, I have to admit, I don't like Rodgers and Hammerstein, I think the music is boring and outdated. It's not a FACT, but it's just my view.

Before I finish this blog, I do have to mention one thing off the back of opinion being opinion/fact being fact.

Some people don't know the difference between opinions and facts and I got into quite a heated debate about his once.

Someone was asked why they disliked In The Heights, another musical by Lin Manuel Miranda that contains mostly rap/hip-hop music. Their reply was quite simply: "Hip-hop is not musical theatre."

...

Don't Tell Me That Hip-Hop Is Not Musical Theatre.

Last time I checked, the term 'Musical Theatre' described 'theatre,' told through 'music.' This is a fact, it's not my opinion, we cannot deny this. Another thing we can't deny is that hip-hop is a genre of 'music.'

In conclusion. Yes it's ok for you to not like that genre of music. But no, it's not ok for you to dismiss it totally as a genre of musical.

I feel a more appropriate answer would have been:

"I'm just not that into hip-hop."

But hey. That's just my opinion.

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