Here are the best hip hop musicals to see this year. From classics like Hamilton to newer shows like The Greatest Showman, there’s something for everyone.
“Hamilton” is a hip hop musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show, which opened on Broadway in 2015, earned critical acclaim and won eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. “Hamilton” has been described as one of the most groundbreaking and popular musicals of our time.
“In the Heights”
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop ode to Washington Heights, In the Heights, is a love letter to New York City. The story follows Usnavi, a bodega owner who’s trying to save up enough money to buy his deceased parents’ home in the Dominican Republic. Along the way, he falls in love with Vanessa, a hair salon worker whose dreams of leaving the neighborhood are at odds with her growing attachment to it.
In the Heights is not only a great hip hop musical, but also a moving and nuanced exploration of life in a immigrant community. It’s funny, heartwarming, and will leave you humming its infectious tunes for days afterwards.
“The Get Down”
Hip hop and R&B fans rejoice –– “The Get Down” is coming to your television screens this summer. The new musical drama set in 1970s New York City follows the story of a group of South Bronx teens as they navigate the Birth of Hip Hop, Punk and Disco. The show has been getting a lot of buzz, and for good reason –– it features an all-star cast, incredible costumes, and impressive set design. If you’re looking for a new musical to get into, “The Get Down” is definitely one to watch.
“The Greatest Showman”
“The Greatest Showman” is a feel-good musical about the birth of show business and the visionary who created it. The film follows P.T. Barnum as he rises from poverty to create the Barnum & Bailey circus, one of the most successful entertainment companies in history. The film features original songs by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, including the Oscar-nominated “This Is Me.”
“8 Mile”, directed by Curtis Hanson, is a film set in 1995 that follows the story of Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. (Eminem), a white rapper from Detroit who must contend with race, poverty, and an abusive home life. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning Eminem an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Lose Yourself”).
For fans of hip hop and musicals alike, “Rent” is a show not to be missed. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical by Jonathan Larson follows a group of friends in New York City’s East Village as they grapple with issues of love, loss, and HIV/AIDS. The score is full of catchy tunes and the characters are incredibly relatable, making “Rent” a timeless classic.
“Hairspray” is one of the most popular hip hop musicals of all time. The show tells the story of Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad, who despite facing discrimination and ridicule, follows her dreams to become a dancer on a local television show. The music and dancing in “Hairspray” is top-notch, and the message of acceptance and tolerance is one that is still relevant today.
“Dreamgirls” is a musical based on the rise of the Motown group The Supremes. The story follows the group as they navigate the music industry and struggle to find success. The musical features hits such as “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
“A Bronx Tale”
“A Bronx Tale” is a hip hop musical based on the 1993 film of the same name. The show tells the story of Calogero, a young man who is caught between the rivalries of two street gangs. The show features a mix of original songs and classic hip hop tracks.
“The Wiz” is one of the best hip hop musicals to see this year. The diverse cast and crew bring a fresh take on the classic story, and the music is sure to get your toes tapping. With a mix of old and new school hip hop, this show is not to be missed.