Hamilton Mixtape and New Song by Ashanti and Ja Rule Making Waves
The long awaited The Hamilton Mixtape, a project more than two years in the making, is a creative collaboration that features remixes, covers of and songs inspired by the Hamilton Official Broadway Cast songs, along with extra demos from the creation of the musical to the Broadway and Off-Broadway versions of the show. In order to make the songs easier to relate to for non-theater goers and others who have not listened to the original soundtrack, many of the references to Hamilton and its characters have been taken out.
The project is filled with a star studded list of musical talent including Alicia Keys, Andra Day, Ashanti, Chance The Rapper, The Roots, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Aloe Blacc, Regina Spektor, The Roots, Sia, Usher, Wiz Khalifa and more.
Every track on The Hamilton Mixtape is worth a listen, and many will be worthy of setting your smartphone to “repeat” just to get your fill of this brilliant collaboration, but one that surely stands out is “Helpless.” When you see a song titled “Helpless” you might expect to find a story wrapped around the pieces of life everyone can relate to. After all, we would not be human if we did not at some point feel completely helpless. The piece is performed by Ashanti and Ja Rule, former labelmates at Murder Inc. Records. Ashanti’s voice dominates the track and sounds terrific. Ja Rule raps out the verse that was originally done by Lin-Manuel Miranda, tweaking the song nicely to fit the new take by the pair. The song was presented in a livestreamed concert on the Richard Rogers stage, following the lovely play of Regina Spektor’s take on “Dear Theodosia” and “Burn” by Andra Day.
With The Hamilton Mixtape featuring duets by Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza, something that was taken on by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo, only to be redone by Ashanti and Ja Rule for 2016. One part of the lyrics was also tweaked slightly to say “we’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out” as a shout out to his hometown of Queens. The duo were the original inspiration behind the song itself it appears, with Miranda stating, “”When I was writing that song, I was picturing it as Ashanti and Ja Rule. I was like, Eliza’s Ashanti. Hamilton’s Ja Rule. Two verses, two choruses. A little Ja Rule. And then they’re married.” This was discussed on the Conan O’Brien show during a recent interview. Now, with another surprise for the public in the form of the duo’s appearance on the return of “Showtime At the Apollo” classic, fans are getting their fair share of the Ashanti/Ja Rule combination, with explosive results.