THE POWER OF RAP. About a month ago we saw a program on PBS about the musical Hamilton. The scenes we saw showed that it deserves all the praise it has gotten. I was surprised at the power of rap (I really don’t know much about music written after 1969),

Hamilton is extraordinary for being able to dramatize a thick, scholarly book, Ron Chernow’s ALEXANDER HAMILTON—an almost 900 page biography covering the politics of over 25 years. One reason it can do so is the power of rap to convey an extraordinary amount of information in a short time and in an interesting way. Consider how much initial exposition is accomplished entertainingly and movingly in these lines:

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence
Impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

Inspired by the television program, Mary Jane is now 250 pages into Chernow’s book.

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