By now, you’ve most likely read, heard, watched and dissected almost everything there is to read, hear, watch and dissect about “Hamilton,” the Broadway leviathan widely referred to as a “hip-hop musical.”
The show about Alexander Hamilton has broken records for ticket sales, box-office revenue, cast album downloads and Tony nominations. Its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer, actor, MacArthur genius, dervish of social media activity, seems to be everywhere. On magazine covers. In television interviews. At the White House.
Suddenly, everyone on the planet seems obsessed with the man who took an overlooked Founding Father and made him relevant. Hip. Street.
Suddenly, everyone wants to claim Miranda as their own personal treasure.
Sorry to burst your bubble, Hamilfans. While you can and should marvel at Miranda’s creative virtuosity, while you can and should stand in awe of his verbal and musical dexterity, while you can and should revel in the masterwork that is the cast recording, not all of you can claim him.
Es nuestro. He is ours.
This son of Puerto Ricans, born in Washington Heights, raised in a predominantly Hispanic Manhattan neighborhood, is puro Latino.
Like so many of us, he grew up in a bilingual, bicultural home, a place where “American” music mingled with the traditional music of our parents, where Spanish oscillated with English, where the reality of our lives was rarely reflected in popular culture.