We’ve talked about Hamilton the musical before, but let’s take a minute to talk about its creator, Lin Manuel-Miranda. The Puerto Rican actor, composer, lyricist, playwright, and rapper had his first show open on Broadway when he was 28. That musical, In The Heights, won a Tony award for Best Original Score and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album putting him well on the way to an EGOT before he was 30. Miranda himself also won a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Usnavi in the show. In 2014, he won a Primetime Emmy for his work on the 67th Tony Awards, which means he needs an Oscar to round it out. And since he’s currently writing songs for Disney’s Moana that might not be far off either. He’s also still starring in Hamilton seven times a week (Javier Munoz plays Hamilton once a week). To quote his own work, the man is non-stop. But he still has time to go on Jimmy Fallon and show off his freestyling skills.
Now, to be perfectly honest, freestyle rap to me is the same as watching an improv show: I’m basically white-knuckling through my sense of sympathetic embarrassment until it’s over and I can say “well that didn’t go horrible awry” but this was pretty good! And it’s meant to be a bit goofy, which helps. And Miranda himself just has such lovely energy and enthusiasm that even when I want to hide behind the couch until someone else tells me it’s over, it’s fun to watch him.