Music

Weird Al Yankovic And Lin-Manuel Miranda Bonded Over A Mutual Love Of Musical Theater And Polka

In a day utterly jam-packed with unusual, rap-related musical pairings from Ludacris and Carrie Underwood to Lil Yachty and Santigold, this one might just be the weirdest — pun intended. In an interview with Rolling Stone, parody musician Weird Al Yankovic and playwright-composer Lin-Manuel Miranda detailed how they bonded over their mutual professional respect, a shared interest in musical theater, and Yankovic’s latest contribution to Miranda’s Hamildrop series, “The Hamilton Polka.” Yes, that is a thing that exists, and you can listen to it above.

When you think about it, though, what both of these auteurs do is pretty similar. Both have to demonstrated the ability to jump seamlessly and effectively from genre to genre, with Weird Al satirizing everything from pop to punk to rap-rock while Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton score runs the gamut from the oft-cited hip-hop stylings of mid-’90s New York backpack rap to dancehall and ragtime. The pair also broke down just how “The Hamilton Polka” came to be. Again, this is a thing that exists:

Walk me through the process. Did you always know it would be a polka medley?
Yankovic: Lin pitched it to me as a polka medley way more hesitantly than you should have. He was like, “Would you want to do a polka medley?” I was like, “Of course I do!” It was the kind of thing I’d be pitching him if I didn’t know him already.

Miranda: Listen, as a longtime “Weird Al” fan, that’s a scary ask to make. I also know there’s only been two other cases where he’s devoted an entire polka medley to a particular artist. There’s “Hot Rocks Polka” on the UHF soundtrack and the Queen polka [“Bohemian Polka”]. I cannot presume to be in that rarified air as the Rolling fuckin’ Stones! But I asked.

To be honest, it’s not that bad of a rendition of the highlights of the show, including the self-titled intro, the show-stopping “Wait For It,” and King George’s crowd-pleasing musical interludes. Or, if you just need a fix of hip-hop US History, just listen to the Hamilton soundtrack below.

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