USC
USC earns Rose Bowl berth, capping dramatic turnaround

Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda of 'Hamilton' throw down in Rose Garden freestyle

Regardless of which candidate ends up in the White House next year, chances are we won't soon be seeing another improvised rap freestyle in the Rose Garden.

In what seems like a presidential first, composer-writer-actor-rapper Lin-Manuel Miranda of the blockbuster musical "Hamilton" stood on the White House steps on Monday and let loose with some verses that conveyed his reality of the moment: freestyling for historical posterity.

Flanked by his hype man President Obama, who was providing topics to rhyme, and backed by a military drummer, Miranda delivered a playful verse that touched on the Federalist Papers, Obamacare, presidential dogs Sunny and Bo, NASA and the Supreme Court. 

In truth, the moment was a remarkable bookend to an earlier White House performance by Miranda. Near the beginning of the Obama presidency, when "Hamilton" was little more than an idea, the artist performed the musical's opening number during the White House's first poetry slam.

First Lady Michelle Obama recalled her and her husband's reaction during Monday's opening remarks, which introduced performances and a workshop by cast members of "Hamilton."

"We were blown away," she said of Miranda's initial performance. "There were probably shots of us with our mouths open."

The first lady added that back then, Miranda had explained his Alexander Hamilton musical project, but it hadn't been financed. "We knew that this had the potential to be really, really good based on his performance, but what we didn't know and never could have imagined that it would be a work of genius — true genius."

For tips on playlists, Los Angeles music news and video clips, follow @liledit

MORE:

'Hamilton' musical coming to L.A. ... but not until 2017

'Hamilton's' Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a 'Cantina Song' for the new 'Star Wars'

From pedicures to Instagram, Obama tells all on 'Ellen' -- but did he dance?

'Hamilton' fever fires up musicals win, Stephen Paulus and Boston Symphony get classical Grammys

Broadway musical 'Hamilton' could teach Oscar a lesson on diversity

As Bruce Springsteen closes out another rock arena, does the same fate await arena rock?

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
68°