12 Classic Novels Get A 'Hamilton' Upgrade In This Medley By Daveed Diggs' Students
"If all books were rap, I'm sure they'd love that." So begins Daveed Diggs' rap workshop's latest medley, a one-take hip-hop experience that brings your favorite books to life with beats and rhymes. The video below is the perfect earworm to help you while away the hours until The Hamilton Mixtape drops on Dec. 2.
Diggs rose to mainstream acclaim with his Grammy- and Tony-winning performance in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit, Hamilton. The Brown University grad portrayed Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the historically-inspired musical until his final performance in 2016. As Lafayette, Diggs became the fastest rapper on Broadway for his part in "Guns and Ships," the Act One track that hypes up Hamilton's return to the war for the Battle of Yorktown.
Together with fellow artist and collaborator Rafael Casal, Diggs founded the #BARS workshop in New York City. The six-week hip-hop bootcamp promises that students will "learn some history, rituals & techniques of rap. We are going to begin to wire your brain so it’s second nature, like a musician improvising on a guitar." The second session of #BARS ran from July 18 to Sep. 5, and culminated with the #BARS Medley Vol. 2, seen below.
#BARS Medley Vol. 2 bestows a rap reboot upon 12 classic novels, including Things Fall Apart and The Lord of the Flies. This is the biggest video to happen to book nerds since the "Unread Book" parody hit YouTube, so get ready to see and share it a lot. (Seriously, #BARS' take on Beloved will make you beg Miranda for a Toni Morrison musical.)
Hamilton fans will spot some familiar faces here. Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy Schuyler, Maria Reynolds) doesn't say no to a Pride & Prejudice rap battle for the ages. Anthony Ramos (John Laurens, Philip Hamilton) takes his shot to announce the Frankenstein segment, and Javier Muñoz (Alexander Hamilton) rises up to introduce the #BARS version of The Catcher in the Rye.