Nas, Dave East, & Lin-Manuel Miranda Rhyme Their Way Out of Struggle (Audio)

After taking the world of theater by storm, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton excelled at the Grammys, the Tonys, and even the Pulitzer Prize ceremony, making it one of the most successful pop-culture phenomenons in history. And, speaking of history, its brilliant use of Hip-Hop to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of the American republic will no doubt inspire generations of educators to come, let alone playwrights. Heads may recall that the Roots have played an integral role in the play’s musical direction, and now thanks to a Hamilton mixtape, the soundtrack will be just as popular on speakers as it is on stages. Already, Heads have been treated to the lead single “My Shot” in the form of a “Rise Up Remix” sporting Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, and Joell Ortiz.

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The Roots, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, Ja Rule, and many more will be featured on the mixtape, scheduled for release in two weeks. Today (November 17), the all-star single featuring Nas, Miranda, Dave East, and Aloe Blacc arrives, and it is triumphant. “Wrote My Way Out” is an anthem for anyone who has fought their way out of a tough situation, with Nas kicking thinks off. “I picked up the pen like Hamilton, street analyst/now I write words and try to channel ’em/no political power, just lyrical power,” he raps before referencing poverty, Reagan, criminal-justice failures, and other struggles he’s faced on his way to the top. His protégé Dave East is up next, recounting his own experiences with obstacles as a juvenile before celebrating his newly found success. Miranda – a remarkable lyrical talent in his own right – closes things out, using his verse to share memories of being bullied and how he channeled the pride in his Puerto Rican heritage to rise above.

The Hamilton mixtape arrives December 2 and is now available for pre-order.