New York City, Mike Pence, Hamilton discussed on Fresh Air
How does the best for Finn Son of a hole? In the Scotsman dropped in the middle of forgotten spun in the Caribbean by Providence impoverished. Disqualify grow up to be a hero when the scholar. The ten dollar founding father without a father got a lot fall by working a lot harder lobbying a lot smarter but being a self starter. Fourteen million placed him in charge of the trade and Charter and slaves will beat your slaughtered a caught it away across the waves on Hamilton kept his got up inside. He was long something to be part of the BRO. That's Lin Manuel Miranda performing the opening number from Hamilton at the White House with Michelle and Barack Obama in the audience. So let's get ahead when vice president elect Mike Pence attended Hamilton and He was cheered. He was booed when he was there. And then when the show was over Brandon Victor Dixon who now plays Aaron. Burr came out and read like a little speech directed to Mike Pence. And I'll I'll read some of it for our listeners. Who might not have heard this yet? This is what he said. Vice president-elect pence we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton in American musical we really do we. Sir are are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us our planet our children our parents or defend us and uphold hold our inalienable rights Sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us all of us. Thank you truly for seeing this. Show this wonderful. American story told by a diverse group of men. Women of different colors creeds AIDS and orientations so you co wrote this that's my understanding you co wrote it with the director and producer. Don't have that right. Yes with Tommy and Jeffrey we got the heads up that he was coming That afternoon and sort of put that together before his arrival okay. So what was the conversation like between you and whoever else was involved about. Uh whether you should say something or not well. The conversation was this has been incredibly divisive election with A lot of hurt feelings. Disappointment and anger on both sides and the overwhelming sort of statement within that statement is We truly hope you lead all all of us. We're a play that tells the story of our founders with a very diverse company that we feel if you know reflects what our country looks like now and so so it was really intended as an olive branch please lead all of us and I was what I was really grateful for. was that Sunday. Mike Pence really was grateful for that. And I got in the Sentiment which was intended. He said I wasn't offended. I assure you that we are trying to lead all of you and so I was. I was grateful for his statements and for him stopping to listen. You know he didn't have to do that But he did and I thought it felt like a a civil dialogue between us so Hamilton is in part a story sorry about an immigrant and about immigrants and which of course relates to your family background. Your father came to New York from Puerto Areco for college and your mother basically making him not an immigrant because Puerto Rico as a Commonwealth but the experience of Spanish to English and displacement right or symbol. Awesome and your mother. I moved as an infant to The US from Puerto Rico correct and you grew up in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. You went to the Hunter College elementary and high school to have that right. That's right yeah so you you spoke in the past about this. Divide between who. You were At home and in your Latino neighborhood who you were at school with friends. What was the difference between those two us? Oh man I feel like we just stepped into code switch Because that's what I was doing. I think that's the interesting thing I mean. I think if you WANNA make a recipe for making taking a writer Have them feel a little out of place everywhere. have them be an observer kind of all the time and that's a great way to make a writer I wanted the lotto when I got into hunter To get a great Free Public School Education Sorta saved my family and and I was aware of it. I was aware of that. I was at a school with kids who were really smart and I also had friends in the neighborhood Who who went to the local school and I remember feeling that drift happened? You know when you spend your entire day with your closer friends become the ones you go to school with. And yet I'd still have sleepovers with friends from the neighborhood Make movies with my friends in the neighborhood and You know the corner of that I lived in was like this little Latin American country. It's one in which The nanny who lived with us and raised us who also raised my father in Puerto. Rico never alert needed to learn English. All of the business owners in and around our block all spoke Spanish and yet I'd go to school and I'd I'd be at at my friends houses on the upper east side upper west side and I'd be the one translating to the nanny who spoke Spanish So it's interesting to become a Latino. You know cultural ambassador when you're seven so I had that experience as well so you know. We changed depending on the room. We're I'm talking quieter because I'm talking hair grows so you. Obviously you know love rap and hip hop what were the first recordings that made a big impression. I rap recordings that made a big impression on you I've several I remember. My sister bringing home the fat boys when I was really little and also taking me. Due to the first hip hop movies I remember going to see beat street in going to see breaking as a really little kid being sort of dragged along by my older sister. My sister is responsible possible for anyone for giving me good taste in music I remember stealing her. Copy of black sheep's a wolf and sheep's clothing and learning Engine I and not on the New York transit line I think that's probably the first rap song I really worked hard to memorize in sixth grade. But then also You Know Naughty by nature and Queen Latifah the music. You love when you're a teenager is always going to be the most important to you And I I find that it's it's all over the score of Hamilton The quotes are big quotes They're big PUN. These are all New York East Coast Nineties rappers. And that's when I was a teenager so I'm GonNa put you on the spot and ask you do. I rhymes that you remember writing that you still remember today. Well Hello My name is Lynn but if you're dyslexic call me nil. My rhymes are GONNA kill. So I suggest you write your will. Then leave your to me. I am the pit to me. A coolness can't be ripped to me because they will be hitting the Mike Tonight notice. My voice went up two octaves. It's because at that time I was listening to nothing but the far side died and my favorite rapper in the far side had that well there she goes again. The don't misty Theo Paean and now the world around me it was. It was that cadence and and I think my rapper. Voices still influenced by far side But that that is Those lines were a rhyme. I wrote in ninth grade that I showed to friends wins and there were like all right. Stick to your day job. Come on. That was pretty good. That's funny so your father has had a political consulting company. He worked with of New York City. Mayor Ed Koch. He still has it and advising him on Latino Affairs and you apparently wrote Jingles when you were younger for this political consulting and company that your father owns. How old were you when you started writing them and please sing one for us? Well jingles misleading. Because it sounds like oh how are we to wake up in the morning morning. It's not they're not like I like they. Its background music for commercials. I was basically cheap labor for my dad. He would say I need thirty seconds of of some jazz for a sharpton spot that's going to be on. WB L. S.. or I need some bright salsa for a Fernando Ferrer campaign commercial you know I wrote music for for Eliot Spitzer before. We knew what we knew when he was running for Governor and whatever Democrat was running or my dad was working with I was writing the campaign music. I liked writing the negative ads. More than because it's more minor chords. You just hit the synthesizer politician ex. They voted against and ends with Bright Salsa Don Don Don Don Don vote politician. Why so you know who you're talking about the compartmentalized department allies you? The you were you were when you were at home. And Latino neighborhood in the you were at school when your friends were white and Latino and then you learn finally to bring all those parts together with the same kind of compartmentalization happening for you musically you loved Broadway shows and you loved hip talk and it's maybe hard to find people who win when their teens love both. Yeah I mean absolutely and honestly what a fantastic antastic question because theater is really the thing that began to break that. Divide for me my senior year in high school. I was the director of the school musical and I picked West side story painfully aware that there were not enough. Let the kids to play all the sharks and was at hunter or at least audition and so what that became for me was actually this kind of weird way of bringing my culture to school. I remember being knocked doubt When I first saw the movie and sixth grade that there's actually a musical number in the Canon about whether you should stay in Puerto Rico and live in the United States? Oh Yeah You know that's amazing when you're twelve and you grow up in New York and your family's all from this other island to have that conversation happening in front of you in an iconic chronic musical And so I had my white and Asian Sharks and I brought my dad and he did dialect coaching. You know while they're singing in America I want the things. They're yelling while they're cheering each other. On to be accurate. I want the accents to be accurate. Our guest is Lin. Manuel Miranda Maranda original star of the Broadway Musical Hamilton. Who wrote the show's music lyrics and book? He spoke with Terry gross in twenty seventeen and after a break will oh continue their conversation. We'll also hear another of our staff's picks for interviews of the decade by revisiting. Terry's twenty eleven interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone Creators of the Book of Mormon. I'm David Cooley. And this is fresh. Air Monsieur you'll be saying no sweated it finally on the field we've had quite a run immigrants. We get the job done. So what happens if we win freedom to my people. If I'm given the Jack we'll be with you when you go.