50 Best Albums of 2015

Kendrick fought the power, Adele soared higher, D’Angelo shocked the world and more

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Various Artists, 'Hamilton: Original Broadway Soundtrack'
50
8/50

8. Various Artists, 'Hamilton: Original Broadway Soundtrack'

A nearly three-hour Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton ("the ten dollar founding father without a father") might, on paper, sound like a tough feat to pull off. Writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also plays the lead role, made it look easy with a book of modern hip-hop and R&B songs that could've been played on the radio. Even if you didn't get to see the show, the soundtrack album still works as a fantastically fun ride of its own. It helps that the Caribbean-born orphan who became our first Treasury Secretary lived a perfect hip-hop life – hustling his way from poverty to "young, scrappy and hungry" New York success story, fighting a bitter North-South regional battle with Thomas Jefferson and finally going down at the hands of punk-ass Aaron Burr when beef turned lethal. In Hamilton, the complex policy debates of the early Republic are rendered in verses worthy of Kanye. But along with being outrageously thrilling living history, it projects brilliantly into our own election season. As Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette sing after whooping ass on the British: "Immigrants, we get the job done." Take notice, King Donald.

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