Alexander Hamilton, hip hop


Music | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | United States History


This paper focuses on Alexander Hamilton, one of the most influential founding fathers, and how he embodies a genre of music known as hip hop. There are many aspects of hip hop culture that Alexander Hamilton embodied. The examples of hip hop culture used in this article are the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Small rivalry, Nas writing his way out of the Queens housing project, the “Ten Crack Commandments”, and “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy. Examples from Alexander Hamilton’s life consist of his rivalry with Aaron Burr, writing his way out of poverty, the duel code of honor, the Federalist Papers, and the Reynolds pamphlet. Research was done through New York Times articles, Rolling Stones articles, and Alexander Hamilton, a biography by Ron Chernow that was used as the inspiration for Hamilton the Musical. Genius, a website where readers can find lyrics of songs and different references in to hip hop, was also used. This website was used to compare Biggie Small’s “Ten Crack Commandments” to Lin Manuel-Miranda’s “Ten Duel Commandments”. Rolling Stones articles were used to explain the importance of hip hop culture as it relates to political writing. The New York Times articles were used because they went into depth about comparisons of Hamilton to hip hop. The biography by Ron Chernow was used to explain Alexander Hamilton’s life, rivalries, and writings. Research was also taken from Hamilton the Musical, quoting songs that summed up Hamilton’s personality, written by Lin Manuel-Miranda.