Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. performs Obama rap
An Obama musical, based on the life of President Barack Obama in the vein of Broadway hit Hamilton, is probably a bit of a pipe dream at this juncture. But original cast member Leslie Odom Jr. made it a reality on BET’s Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration Tuesday night.
The Tony winner took the stage and began by thanking the president for his support of the show and expressing with certainty that his legacy would warrant a musical of its own in the next 100 years, before kicking off a tweaked version of “Alexander Hamilton.”
“He is the son of an immigrant from Kenya and a woman from Wichita dropped in the middle of a phenomenal state 50,” he sang before the tempo picked up. “Organizer to senator, he went through door, and whoa, it’s that great speech 2004, and whoa, world began to really pay attention, to the top spot could be his, the people started to mention. And then there’s Michelle, she’s ride or die, an amazing woman right there by his side.”
For the chorus: “Barack Hussein Obama, his name is Barack Hussein Obama. Eight years filled with drama, but man we love you like our mama.”
Odom cut himself off and admitted, “I’m still working on it. I’m gonna get Lin[-Manuel Miranda] to punch it up, I promise.”
The appearance quickly took a more moving turn when Odom noted, “I think the hallmark of your presidency has been grace, and this song speaks to that,” before busting into a haunting, a cappella rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”
Watch the clip below.