Alexander Hamilton was a stud. Yes, he served as George Washington’s aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War, wrote a majority of the Federalist Papers, became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and was the father of American finance—but he was also a quick-tempered, egotistical flirt who caused America’s first political sex scandal and died tragically in a duel against Aaron Burr in 1804. And he’s the only founding father to inspire his own hip-hop album.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony Award-winning creator of Broadway’s In the Heights, is currently working on The Hamilton Mixtape, a concept album that tells Hamilton’s life story through rap. Miranda performed parts of the Mixtape at the White House in 2009 and at Lincoln Center in New York City last year. “When I first read about him, I couldn’t get the stories of Tupac and Biggie out of my head,” says Miranda, whose new project coincides with a growing cultural fascination with the founding father.