Manchester By The Sea

Manchester By The Sea – Trailer

Life is about loss.

It starts off all sunny and sweet, with your first grade teacher telling you you can become President, and then you wake up one day filled with grief, wondering what happened, soldiering on like a zombie, if you can put one foot in front of the other at all.

“You Can Count On Me” is my favorite film of the twenty first century. It’s hiding in plain sight, you can see it, but almost no one does, I haven’t heard anybody reference it in years.

And while you’re at it, looking up ancient gems, try 2011’s “A Separation,” which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, deservedly so, but Americans can’t like anything about Iran, never mind a movie with subtitles.

Film used to be art.

Now it’s a genre. Inhabited by superheroes. A place where you go to be abused. Today at the AMC they had thirty minutes of previews. Just because I’m a captive audience doesn’t mean you can insult me, especially after I’ve paid. But that’s the America we live in, where it’s so hard to garner eyeballs that we force you to pay attention, even if you don’t want to. Because the United States is about sales. Convincing people to buy what they do not need via subterfuge, so the purveyor can put food on the table, a roof over his head and…

Not everybody’s a winner.

I know that’s heresy, but it’s the truth. Not everybody is college material. Not everybody can be rich.

And “Manchester By The Sea” is about these people. It was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, the same man who did “You Can Count On Me,” that’s why I went, never underestimate your credibility, while most are whoring themselves out to the highest bidder, believing the corporation is their daddy, there are some who are still seeking truth, who have an audience, however silent, bonded to them. And “Manchester By The Sea” will never gross a hundred million dollars, probably won’t win Best Picture, but for those hungry for a peek at real life, this is where you can get it.

Certain things happened in my life that I just can’t get over. I didn’t see them coming, and all I can do is push them down inside and march forward, but I feel like I’m the only one, when I know so many others are hurting too. I want to tell them they’re not alone, because loneliness kills, deadens you inside, you can work with others every day but still feel alienated, still feel unknown, still feel like if you disappeared right now…you wouldn’t be missed.

Lee Chandler made a mistake.

We all do. But the movers and shakers, those we look up to, deny it. How are you supposed to accept the fact that you screwed up?

You get into a car accident because you were fiddling with the radio, or looking at a girl or guy on the sidewalk… But no one says that, they blame another driver, a sunspot, but deep inside…they feel awful.

And sometimes your mistakes are so major there’s no coming back from them. A line is drawn.

Sometimes it’s something you say. I’ve been in relationships where my significant other has said something that I know there’s no turning back from, that we’ll be together a bit more but it’s all downhill from here, it’s just a matter of time before it’s over, because I can’t ever get past what they said.

Sometimes it’s something you do.

Lee did something. He’s admits it, he’s apologetic, but it’s not enough, he won’t be forgiven, by others or himself.

So he leaves.

But then more loss occurs and he’s forced to return to Manchester By The Sea, where his original mistake took place.

And the photography in this film is brilliant. If you’ve ever lived in New England, especially during the winter, you’ll marvel at the vibe, the snow, the cold… TV has taken the reins from film but it’s all about story, there’s no focus on atmosphere, which doesn’t work so well on the small screen anyway.

And when Lee returns he’s a marked man.

His mistake is as fresh as yesterday. And he just can’t cope with it.

And speaking of coping…

Gretchen Mol, the It Girl of yesterday, plays an alcoholic mother. We’re brought up to believe looks are the golden ticket, that if you’re beautiful life works out. But that’s not true. Some people are incapable of doing the right thing, Gretchen Mol’s Elise is one of them.

And then there’s the son, Patrick, who is surrounded by friends and has two girlfriends. Illustrating not only that people are everything, it’s all about community, but that high school truly is the peak of many people’s lives. Those who are ultimately left behind.

And live long enough and you find out doing the right thing is just not enough. It takes two to make a marriage work. You might not want a divorce, but she does. But does love ever fade?

When Lee gets a phone call from his ex it’s everything he wants and nothing that he can handle. We lie awake at night dreaming of things going right but then when the opportunity presents itself we realize there’s no turning back.

I’m not recommending “Manchester By The Sea.” Most people don’t want to see depressing movies about losers.

But I do.

And some others do too.

Because we know under the skin we’re all the same. That we win and we lose and half the time we’ve got no clue what’s really going on, we just get up every day and do what we’re supposed to and hope that the good times come.

Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.

And then you realize so much time has passed that doors have closed. Not only will you never play for the Yankees, but you won’t have children, you won’t be rich, you’ll be lucky if you’ve got enough money to get you through, and enough laughs to accompany you on your journey.

It’s just a matter of time before things go bad.

I remember stumbling through the nineties being coddled by couples in the Palisades.

Now every one of those couples is divorced.

I remember being the first in my group to get the Big C, and now friends of mine have died.

I remember telling my story over and over again to people who didn’t want to hear it to the point I no longer tell it, but the truth is…

I’ve still got those feelings inside, the chapters of my life are written in stone and they still don’t make sense.

But when I see “Manchester By The Sea” I feel that someone else gets it too, has been there, knows how I feel, and this allows me to move forward, however gingerly, with so many fits and starts.

I don’t know how art became about winning, about sunniness, about anything but the human condition. It used to soothe me, now it bounces off of me.

But there are some people working who are still trying to get it right, trying to illuminate life so we all can relate.

Kenneth Lonergan did this in “Manchester By The Sea.”

And if you’re someone who feels misunderstood, who is more internal than external, who wonders how you got here, how life didn’t work out as planned…

This is the film for you.


Now what?

The press gave this blowhard a pass but now the public has put him in retreat. He gets out and..?

I know, I know, we’re supposed to have sympathy for the mentally ill. But we’re also supposed to recognize psychiatric problems and steer the person to treatment, we did not do that, we stood by idly as this inane insane man whipsawed through our media until he blew himself up.

I, for one, have little sympathy.

I could commit heresy and say he’s just not that talented.

I’ll let you decide.

But I will say him screaming how he was ignored in fashion, how he wasn’t embraced by other businesses… Michael Jordan was the best basketball player ever and he couldn’t make it in baseball. I know of no CEOs who can make it on the hardwood. Why should Kanye West get a pass? Why do we have to listen to the drivel that comes out of his mouth? You’re lucky if you can do one thing well, never mind at a world class level. But in truth, Kanye was selling merch. The mark of a fashion king or queen is when someone buys the item on style as opposed to brand name. I don’t think that ever happened with Kanye’s limited production items. But somehow, he was lionized as a fashion icon too, when the truth is he was just selling souvenirs.

I’m not saying he’s not an innovator. Charging people to see your clothing, to show a video? That’s genius if you think art is about commerce, something music and movies believe is now the holy grail. It doesn’t matter whether a track or a flick is good, just whether it makes bank. Come on, when the Top Ten and weekend grosses are trumpeted in every medium known to man do you think it’s not going to impact the culture? The Beatles never bragged about their number ones, but in a different era Mariah Carey rings the bell and can’t stop talking about it. Is that how far we’ve fallen, when it comes to art we can only talk about statistics? Does everything have to be weighed this way? I guess it does, in a media where lists are everything because they garner eyeballs.

Now Kanye won’t be inside forever. The goal of the hospital today is to stabilize you and get you out as quickly as possible. Then again, they’re restricted by insurance payments, whereas Kanye can pay cash. But really, the days of locking people up for years are passe. Kanye’s gonna be on the street soon. Then what?

We gave Owen Wilson some space, respected his troubles, he attempted suicide and when he was released…crickets. Proving that the media can do the right thing, that not everything is grist for the mill.

But Kanye thrived on publicity.

But then he became Icarus and flew too close to the sun.

Marrying Kim… I blame her, she’s a social climber. That basketball star wasn’t big enough for her. And when Kanye fades, and they all fade, except for Max Martin, will she cashier him, trade him in? I think so. Her brand is built upon publicity, the media is complicit, and when people stop paying attention, she shakes it up.

But at least she’s famous for nothing. We can dismiss Kim Kardashian out of hand. But Kanye?

Credit Obama for calling him a jackass after the Taylor Swift ridiculousness. Barry was excoriated for it, but at least he was being genuine, he was speaking the truth, which is how the Donald won and Hillary lost. Save me the e-mail about Trump’s lies, his SUPPORTERS, who got him ELECTED, believed in him and he certainly broke taboos, all the inside the beltway people said you couldn’t say that, but he did, and the reporters said Trump was toast and they were wrong, they seemingly always get it wrong and they want our trust?

And Kanye, an African-American, who said George Bush didn’t care about black people, he comes out for Donald Trump? The day Donald Trump is good for the black people is the day Adolf Hitler is good for the Jews. Trump may not want to kill blacks, but a lot of his supporters do. And when the rich get richer, history tells us the poor are left behind.

But Kanye isn’t poor anymore!

And then Kanye pissed upon his contemporaries, Jay Z and Beyonce, et al. What did they do to him? That’s when you sever a friendship, when you’re attacked for no reason. And Kanye miscalculated, he didn’t know they were more beloved than he!

And speaking of miscalculation, Kanye thought anything he said goes. That people would follow him willy-nilly anywhere. But it turns out THEY WON’T!

That’s the big story here, the wisdom and power of the crowd.

I’ll argue all day long that the right wing labeled Hillary Clinton unfairly. But I’m hard pressed to say her status quo agenda made me hopeful. Bernie Sanders may have promulgated policies that had no chance of passing but at least he channeled people’s frustration and spoke the truth. But the media blasted Bernie and said hosannas for Hillary. Meanwhile, Trump sneaked to victory between them.

So does Kanye come back and do the same act?

If so, it’s on us to reject it. For the media to cry foul, which it won’t do, because he brings eyeballs and they’re selling ads. But the public? Kanye won’t be instantly embraced. That’s what none of these pop stars realize, that no one’s forever, everybody’s just grist for the mill.

So what is wrong with Kanye?

Nothing serious, I’m sure. He’s just a raving egomaniac in a country populated by them. Not only Trump, but every billionaire believes he too can be President. When we speak of 2020 we hear names like Mark Cuban, even basketball coach Steve Kerr. Because it’s become a popularity contest, no one ponders the fact that the President has to govern. Then again, we’re all about lifting the two-dimensional prophets. Everybody who does the hard work is a chump, at least in the eyes of the media. Clean a toilet? Teach a class? You’re just a taker we can do without. As for the immigrants picking fruit and doing menial labor? They’re taking our jobs and screwing the American economy. Huh? That’s not true, every American wants to be Kanye!

That’s right, deep in the heart of the uneducated is the belief they too can be a rapper, get on a reality TV show, they’re just a shot away from fame.

And it’s not much better amongst the educated. Every college graduate believes they can write an app and be a billionaire. Steve Jobs is their hero and if Evan Spiegel can make it, so can they. Is it any wonder that Evan Spiegel is engaged to Miranda Kerr? Used to be techies were geeks, social misfits, but now they want to be entertainers and the entertainers want to be geeks and I’m stuck in the middle with you, wondering what happened to our country.


Make a record. Cut a hit song. That’s the only thing that can bring you back. You believed your own press, you thought you were a cultural wunderkind. But the truth is you’re second-rate in other spheres. Never forget what brought you here.

As for musicians speaking about politics?

I’m all for it, other than the social networks it’s the only way to reach people. But your opinion ain’t worth much if you don’t vote, like Kanye. You don’t get an opinion if you stay out of the game. Pick a side and advocate for it. And if some of the public rejects you?

Kanye just couldn’t take it. He’s a crybaby. And when the people who bought tickets and merch, who supported every move, were pissed on by him, the backlash began.

Kanye could have apologized, made some lame excuse. But he just couldn’t believe people didn’t love him that much, wouldn’t follow him anywhere. And why should he? He interrupts the VMAs and MTV is thrilled, it’s a magic moment, when the truth is he should have been banned, like Andrew Dice Clay in ’92, because there are rules and if you don’t obey them…

But it turns out the rules just apply to the little people. The winners break them. Whether it be Trump not paying taxes or corporations keeping profits overseas. And we can debate the legality of these moves all day long, but the truth is these entities are testing limits, pushing boundaries, they’re not playing by the spirit of the game.

Used to be musicians tested limits.

But now they’re afraid, because they’re brands and they don’t want to tarnish their image. Did Jackson Pollock not drip because the people couldn’t handle it? Did Bob Dylan continue to make protest music because that’s what the people wanted? Did John Lennon not reveal his inner pain? OF COURSE NOT! THEY FOLLOWED THEIR HEART! AND WERE WILLING TO ENDURE THE CONSEQUENCES!

No artist is willing to endure the consequences anymore, which is why they play it safe, work with Max Martin and the usual suspects. Come on, Max made those Taylor Swift and Weeknd hits, he’s the star. Let’s see the acts do it by themselves.

They can’t.

The public is looking for people to believe in. They need spiritual food, not salesmen. But what they keep getting is charlatans, propped up as heroes.

You win some, you lose some.

Kanye just lost one.

He could lick his wounds and say mea culpa, but he won’t! Because he’s been raised in a culture where you double down and don’t admit fault.

But that era’s coming to an end. Life is just too hard. We’re all human.

Kanye, get better.

But if you come out the same man, I’m out. And everybody else will be too. Take us on a new journey, an aural adventure that titillates us, that’s not about the press story but the music. And forget the clothing, the penumbra, don’t you have enough money?

Money won’t buy you love.

Kim Kardashian was ripped off in Paris and people thought it was fake, just like her TV show, done for ratings.

Kanye insulted his audience and people rejected him.

The rules don’t change, just the people.

And without the people you’re nobody. They’re the correction factor.

Believe it.

The News

This is exactly what happened in the music business. Fat cats inured to the old ways could not handle change and after a decade of turmoil they realized the only way to cope was to throw in with the disrupters.

Music has been the canary in the coal mine for disruption. It’s just that the rest of the media believe the rules don’t apply to them, that music is a second-class citizen with no gravitas and that they’re educated he and she-women of the universe who will continue to triumph.


The people rebelled against one good track on an album. The usual suspects thought it was about theft, just like the news people believe it’s about fake news when the truth is it’s a wholesale rejection of what once was. Newspapers are too narrow a sieve beholden to the fat cats. The past fifteen years have been littered with stories that developed online and were then picked up by the mainstream, is it any wonder the public doesn’t trust the papers? As for television, there’s no reporting, just holier-than-thou anchors, the same old acts who were plowed under by Napster, et al, paying fealty to the old ways they want to jet the public back to the past, but this cannot be done.

The newspaper is a bad paradigm for the new world. It’s dependent upon advertisers, businesses and personal, which know their customers no longer read it. Classifieds moved to Craigslist. And we’re bombarded with targeted ads online, why would someone advertise in the newspaper? And the web is infinite and the paper is limited. If we want to go deeper the paper won’t let us. Turned out we wanted not only the outtakes, but the live versions too. All the stuff the labels used to keep in a vault customers wanted. But with the audience spread out over many verticals there was less money for so much, so costs were cut, the same computer tools that enabled file-trading enabled the cost of production to go way down. The truth is it’s never been cheaper to make music, it’s just become harder to get it heard, the same way it’s become harder for the truth in papers to spread and take hold. There’s just too much information. To believe that fake news will be eviscerated and the truth will be revealed is to believe that suing file-traders will get rid of piracy. The solution is to reach into the future and get ahead of the public, something that both print and television news refuse to do.

Maybe we don’t need newspapers at all, not in their present form. Of course we need people to collect and disseminate the news, but maybe it’s individuals with online empires of acolytes. Kill the newsroom. Get rid of layers of infrastructure, now it’s all about going directly from the writer to the reader. As for TV…with GoPros available for barely three figures, with iPhones having a 4K camera, why do we need expensive productions with expensive equipment? You can edit on your computer, even on the phone itself, do we really have to pay all the overcompensated people now working? NO!

Don’t tell me right or wrong, just face the truth.

It’s harder than ever to get your message across. Which is why major labels sign fewer and fewer acts, and do their best to record the best tracks and promote those heavily, they know how heavy the competition is, but the present news media believe the alternatives online should just roll over and let them do their jobs, ha!

And in music you have to prove yourself first.

Which is why papers should comb the web and find those who already have traction and sign them up. Maybe the old farts working at the paper today are out of touch and need to go. Online there’s somebody who lives for the subject, is reporting on one topic 24/7, whereas reporters at papers have a new beat constantly and are asking who, what, where, why and when and are clueless!

Polish is unnecessary. It’s about the song, and it’s about the news. Learn to tell a story differently, it’s about zing as opposed to building a pyramid with a headline and then a recitation of facts thereafter.

The album is dead and so is the paper. People don’t want general info, they want to go deep in the verticals that interest them.

As for needing to be informed…

You’d be surprised how much today’s young people know, because there’s news online 24/7, they rarely watched TV news but they do consume stories online. Maybe there’s no need for news on TV anyway. We tune in to video online when something happens, when nothing is going on we don’t pay attention. Whereas in the paper and on TV they have the same news hole every day, as if everything is equally important.

But it’s not.

The election is just the beginning of the revolution. The press, like the Democrats, want to maintain the status quo, they want us to trust them, when all they’ve done is demonstrate how out of touch they are, and they’re untrustworthy to boot. No one’s going to trust the mainstream news outlets ever again because they called the election so wrong, they can’t regain trust, they’ve got to revolutionize themselves.

All the old musical acts no longer bother making new music, no one cares. They make money on the road. Maybe all the columnists would be better off going on the road, they’d make money and get their message out. And they’ve got to get out of the way and allow new voices to speak.

As for distribution… News outlets should stop bitching about sustaining the paper and TV stations, they should be looking for new ways to get the message out, new distribution platforms. Sure, Facebook is one, but we need one news site akin to Spotify, something with everything, that we can delve into in depth. Apple tried with its News app, it’s just that execution was not stellar and it’s a secret whereas today execution must be seamless so the people can spread the word.

We live in the information age and people are consuming more than ever.

But they don’t need to get it the old way.

And what we’ve learned from music is…

Streaming has eradicated piracy but no act is as big as it was in the pre-internet era. Most people can’t sing two Taylor Swift songs, most people can ignore Drake, just like they can avoid the “New York Times,” CNN and Fox. The old institutions get smaller. Their reach declines. Everyone can find them online but fewer people partake.

Meanwhile everybody in news is bitching and pointing fingers like their predecessors in the music business. Where did it get the label execs? NOWHERE!

Music learned it was all about distribution and they’d lost control and the startups could do it better. The paper and TV station are obsolete, but news is not, what’s the best way to get it to the people, who do the established outlets need to get in bed with to get the story out?

You made fun of music.

Now we’re making fun of you.

You’re in denial, and what we learned in music is when we got to the other side other entities were in control, the majors still existed, but they were changed enterprises, the papers and TV need to change.

The irony is the public knows all this. Just like people knew Napster was better than anything the labels provided, despite the fat cats saying people should prefer the perfect CD!

Clayton Christensen teaches us that established enterprises are overthrown by imperfect enterprises that start off being laughed off but then get good enough that they topple the icons.

The news icons are falling. And their courtiers who keep telling us to support them…


Don’t buy the paper unless you want to. Don’t watch TV news unless you want to.

And most people don’t want either the paper or the TV news. The reach of both is anemic.

Of course we need reporting. And reporting is not free.

But you cannot fight the tide of disruption, your only option is to grab hold and try to get ahead of it, to put customers first instead of blaming them.

Come on, all the media keeps doing is blaming Trump voters for being ignorant.

How did that work out in the music business?


Turned out the public knew more than the business people.

Investigate why people abandoned the traditional news outlets and you’ll gain an inkling of insight, a starting point.

People want truth. They want to believe you’re listening to them. They want to be titillated and entertained.

And if their beliefs are wrong…IT’S YOUR FAULT! You didn’t do a good job of spreading your message!

We need music.

Just not from the usual suspects.

We need news.



Helpless – Spotify

Helpless – YouTube

Don’t email me with that self-righteous attitude telling me you thought this was about the Neil Young song.

It’s not. But if you’re interested in the Prairie crooner check out his new cut “My Pledge,” it’s surprisingly good, but not as good as Gordon Lightfoot’s “Plans Of My Own,” both of which were unearthed by my Spotify Release Radar playlist.

But this is about something truly new.

That’s what’s wrong with the oldsters, they hold tightly to what once was.

But it’s hard to blame them, with the present completely incomprehensible, new material overwhelming us like a tsunami to the point we check out nearly nothing, and I’m not gonna say today’s music is as good as that of the past, that would be untrue, despite what the young wankers and the industryites trying to look hip say, music does not drive the culture the way it once did, Bruno Mars puts out an album so tone-deaf there’s no wonder we’re in trouble, the point is our country is in turmoil and if you’re singing about partying and bumping asses you’re missing not only the point, but the cultural zeitgeist.

Unlike “Hamilton.”

That’s right, despite the plethora of crap there are some standouts, not that most people have heard ’em, because we’ve got a press pushing crap…ever wonder if these news outlets that got it so wrong on the election could get it equally wrong on music? I’d say so. They’re out of touch.

So, after the “Hamilton” brouhaha I went back to the cast album.

It’s almost indigestible, it’s 142 minutes long, nearly the entire play, and the dirty little secret is albums are passe, kinda like the charts, if you entered at number one I don’t care, I only care if you STAY THERE! To sell a minimum of product and get a certain number of streams to equal a CD…is a sideshow feat with little meaning. We live in a listening culture, how can you get people to check you out and continue to do so, that’s how you get paid!

And despite all the “Hamilton” accolades, few people have seen the show and not that many more have listened to the album, but that could change.

You see there’s now a Mixtape. They’re dribbling out tracks, in December you can listen to the whole thing, and I’d be lying if I told you it was better than the original, few things are, but these tracks could bring needed attention to the original, they could turn “Hamilton” into the new “Hair.”

That’s right, there were two “Hair” albums with little impact, Off-Broadway and Broadway iterations, but then popular artists covered tunes and suddenly we were all exclaiming good morning starshine in the age of Aquarius.

Okay, I know you can’t get a ticket to “Hamilton.” And you’ve got self-centered, thin-skinned idiots like the President-to-be who say it doesn’t live up to the hype, BUT IT DOES!

That’s what is so stunning. How good “Hamilton” is. And all the lauded stuff rarely is. Every week we’re exposed to new movies that disappoint. Every musician tells us his latest album is the best and if you say something is not great you’re excoriated and then you stumble onto something excellent and you want to stand on the mountaintop and yell and tell everyone.

That’s what seeing “Hamilton” is like.

You’re overwhelmed. And inspired. How could this show start this good and stay that way? How could one person write this?

But, as I said above, most people have no idea as to the magic.

Right now I’m gonna try and change this.

Throw off your preconceptions. Cast aside your hip-hop hate. I’m opening a door to a party you’re gonna love, that’s gonna be fun.

Now the most accessible “Hamilton” cut is “You’ll Be Back,” by Jonathan Groff, the King of England telling off the insurgents in a music hall style not radically different from the British Invasion.

But the best song of the play is “Helpless.”

Look into your eyes and the sky’s the limit, I’m helpless!
Down for the count and I’m drownin’ in ’em”

Now I want you go to this page:

Helpless – Lin-Manuel Miranda

That’s right, this is the Genius page for “Helpless,” you can read along!

That’s the dirty little secret of not only rap, but “Hamilton,” it takes a while for your brain to tune in. You’ve got to hear about four “Hamilton” cuts in a row before your mind can pick out the lyrics, but Genius spells ’em out.

And above you’ve got the hook, and every hit track has got one, the one that goes through your brain over and over and OVER AGAIN! The so-called earworm.

I have never been the type to try and grab the spotlight
We were at a revel with the some rebels on a hot night

The hook is key, but it’s the groove that puts “Helpless” over the top, that gets your head shaking from side to side as the story is told…of Alexander meeting Eliza, but instead of trying to portray how it once was, the meeting is set in today’s milieu of the club, that’s “Hamilton”‘s magic, making modern what once was, illustrating the penumbra may change, but we’re all human underneath the trappings.

Then you walked in and my heart went BOOM!

It’s the accent drum that puts this seals the deal, that draws you closer.

The minimal instrumentation is key, unlike the hip-hop on the radio the lyrics sit on top and shine through, it’s all about the story.

If it takes fighting a war for us to meet it will have been worth it

That’s what Alexander says after meeting Eliza, he’s been introduced by Eliza’s sister Angelica, who’s not completely neutral, she tells Eliza:

I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me you would share him

OOOH! This is what makes “Hamilton” so great, the HUMANITY! This is how people talk, guys and girls, and in this case…there really is something between Angelica and Alexander, but…

After Alexander meets the sisters’ father, he goes into his rap, the key to the song…

Eliza, I don’t have a dollar to my name

Today the elites marry each other, they don’t start at zero, but before the billionaireification of our country America was about throwing in with your betrothed, it was all about dreams, which have been crushed, which is why Hillary lost and Donald won, she was a manager, people wanted a dreamer.

“An acre of land, a troop to command, a dollop of fame”

Never underestimate the power of fame. It can transcend not only money, but looks!

All I have’s my honor, a tolerance for pain
A couple of college credits and my top-notch brain

The self-confidence, in a society that’s all about self-deprecation, it’s endearing.

No stress, my love for you is never in doubt
We’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out

Figuring it out. Today, read the press and it’s about the elites failing at entrepreneurship and then dusting themselves off to spend more VC money. But the truth is most start off with next to nothing, they’ve got to truly live by their wits, like Hamilton.

So Alexander is an immigrant sans family and now he’s hooked up with one of America’s finest and the end result, the message is…

In New York you can be a new man…
In New York you can be a new man…

We want to reinvent ourselves, believe location makes a difference, that given a chance we can triumph.

Now Lin-Manuel Miranda did not write “Hamilton” in a vacuum… Rather he was influenced by the great rappers of the past. Marvin Gaye’s heirs might call it theft, but in truth we all come from somewhere and nothing is brand new.

Which is why you’re now going to watch the video, “9 Classic Rap References In Hamilton.”

It’s in the upper right hand corner of the Genius page.

But if you want a direct YouTube link, it’s:

9 Classic Rap References In Hamilton

You’ll be stunned. “Hamilton” did not come from thin air. Lin-Manuel was LISTENING! Like you did to rock. That medium you’ve been putting down for years, hip-hop, it’s got fans, acolytes, who know every word, they’re the building blocks of “Hamilton.”

Some might say you’ve got to be fluent in Destiny’s Child.

I don’t think so. I think “Helpless” stands on its own two feet.

But now it’s getting a little bit of help. You see on the Mixtape it’s remade by Ashanti and Ja Rule. And I’ll maintain it’s not as magical as the original, the extra production undercuts the essence, but…these are people the public knows. Will they get traction where Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo have not?

Quite possibly.

Actually, of the seven already released Mixtape tracks the best is “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done),” by K’NAAN, Snow The Product, Riz MC and Residente. The extra production works, they make something new out of what once was.

So let’s go back to the top.

There’s so much new music most people give up and even the best stuff goes unheard by most. And sure, a lot of it is lowest common denominator tripe, but not all. We need people to cherry-pick what’s worth hearing and serve it up to us, which is what the deejay used to do before he was superseded by research, which is what the newspaper did before it fired so many people and lost touch with America.

In this case the cherry-picking has been done by the “Hamilton Mixtape.”

The only way out of this is forward. We can lament the loss of guitars, we can listen to the oldies, or we can exalt what works today.

Like “Helpless.”