The talented playwright, singer-songwriter, author and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda honored us with a powerful music video for his Hamilton Mixtape track “Immigrants”. The six-minute video has bilingual lyrics and features passionate performances by Puerto Rican rapper Residente, Mexican-American Snow Tha Product, Somali-Canadian K’naan and British-Pakistani Riz MC (a.k.a Riz Ahmed), each delivering personal verses. With this video, Miranda uses the success of his Broadway musical Hamilton to communicate an important message about immigration and refugee policies.
For those who don’t know Hamilton: An American Musical
This is a musical that tells about the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and is praised for its music and diverse cast consisting of Black, Hispanic and Asian American actors. “Our cast looks like America today and that is certainly intentional!”, Miranda said in an interview. Yet, the timing of its first opening could not be better. Hamilton arrived during the political discourses concerning immigrants fueled by the Trump Campaign. That conversation often denies immigrants their American identity and portrays them as the outsider. Miranda’s musical takes a social and political stance in speaking out a pro-immigration message: Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant and still puts his mark in American politics.
The refrain “Immigrants – we get the job done” was inspired by a line from the song “Yorktown” in the musical. In the video, we see contemporary scenes of immigrants working in sweatshops, as farm laborers as well as scenes of federal immigration raids intending to underline the plight of immigrants; their sacrifices and strengths as they struggle to survive and seek a better life. “This election cycle has brought xenophobia and vilification of immigrants back to the forefront of US politics. This track is a musical counterweight,” Miranda wrote.
Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the video during an appearance on NBC’s ‘Today’ and arrives with him launching the #Ham4All challenge. Hereby, the track encourages fans to donate money to an immigrants right coalition.
This article was written by Siham Machkour