Favorite Albums of 2016: #24 – ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’ by Various Artists


Confession time. I have listened to Hamilton Broadway Soundtrack more than any album on this revealing list. Obsessed is a good word. It deserves to be my #1 record of 2016. Straight up. Pity I missed it in 2015. Would’ve beaten The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind The Madness” hands down. Problem with so much amazing music in the world… never enough time nor does it happen to reach your ears in a timely fashion either. Luckily, Lin-Manuel Miranda put together the ultimate Hamilton “Mixtape” so I could I give it credit to these amazing pieces. The full record is only a few days old. That’s the only reason why ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’ ranks at #24 on this list. Otherwise, much higher. Still prefer the Broadway Cast over the All-Stars, but it is the original tracks & demos that really steal the show here.  

You get 23 custom made tracks by Lin-Manuel, The Roots, and Friends tackling the masterpiece that is America’s Musical. The remixed & revised get the job done… even though on some tracks (Helpless, Satisfied, Quiet Uptown) I include the original lyrics over the mainstream giants. For this is not a true musical adaption of Hamilton. The rap stars bring their life stories & mirror Hamilton’s experience with their owns. Nas particularly kills his verse on “Wrote My Way Out” so does Common on “Who Tells Your Story”.  Lin-Manuel makes guest appearances throughout. So there is that. But it’s his deep “Valley Forging (Demo)” & profound “Cabinet Battle 3” that keeps the album grounded. Lin even channels 2 Pac’s “Hail Mary” on the later. 

What I hope is listeners jump over to The Hamilton Soundtrack after hearing this. Both give me chills. Gotta keep moving “non-stop”. 

Noteworthy Tracks:

  • “Wrote My Way Out”
  • “It’s Quiet Uptown”
  • “Valley Forge”
  • “Congratulations”

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