Brenda's Got A Baby Character Analysis

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in 1996. Shakur wrote intricate, socially nuanced lyrics: Miranda particularly admired “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” a verse narrative about a twelve-year-old girl who turns to prostitution after giving birth to her molester’s child. Shakur was also extremely undiplomatic, publicly calling out rappers he hated. Miranda recognized a similar rhetorical talent in Hamilton, and a similar, fatal failure to know when enough was enough. There was extraordinary dramatic potential in Hamilton’s story: the characteristics that allowed him to rise also insured his fall. When the organizers of the White House event called, Miranda proposed a rap about Hamilton, and they said yes. That evening in May, Miranda and the other performers—among them Esperanza Spalding,…show more content…
In the opening number, Burr introduces Hamilton as a “bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman”: lyrics derived from a contemptuous description by John Adams. Burr was born to privilege—his father was the president of the college that became Princeton University, and Jonathan Edwards was his maternal grandfather—but, like Hamilton, he was orphaned at an early age, studied law, and turned to politics. In Miranda’s telling, they are negative images of each other, Hamilton’s heated recklessness contrasting with Burr’s icy caution. “Hamilton is this orphan with nothing to lose, and Burr is this orphan with everything to lose,” Miranda…show more content…
Listeners may pick up allusions to the Fugees, Mobb Deep, Brand Nubian. The show makes multiple references to the Notorious B.I.G., the New York rapper Christopher Wallace, who was shot to death in 1997, at the age of twenty-four. When Hamilton introduces himself, he spells out his name in the celebrated cadence that Wallace used in his song “Going Back to Cali.” Miranda takes particular pleasure in a song called “Duel Commandments,” a riff on “The Ten Crack Commandments,” Wallace’s primer on how to deal drugs. The song appears during the show’s first duel, in which Hamilton and Burr serve as the seconds for the combatants; in the May workshop, Miranda reprised the counting structure in the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr. Kail, the director, explained, “We needed to set up the duel between Hamilton and Burr—because you know Hamilton is going to die—so the groundwork of that, structurally, made a lot of sense to us. But having it be something so loved by hip-hop fans was also a way of saying that these folks from long ago were doing the same things that Biggie was talking about fifteen years ago.” Miranda nodded. “It’s a song about illegal activity, and how it works,” he said. “And we’re both stealing the structure from

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