Rise tells the story of a high school theater department that’s putting together a performance of “Spring Awakening,” but there are other kinds of music in the show. In fact, before football player Robbie Thorne (Damon J. Gillespie) ever takes the stage for the drama department, he’s handed a mic at a pep rally. Channeling Smash Williams, he then performs a rap to get the crowd going. Only, it’s not just any rap.
With Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller on board Rise as an EP, he knew there was only one person he wanted to write Robbie’s rap: Lin-Manuel Miranda. “We needed a rap, so who else do you call,” Seller says. “Lin had spent the better part of that year in London filming Mary Poppins Returns, and when the show came up, I called him and said, ‘We have this young character who does a one-minute rap.’ And Lin said, ‘A one-minute rap? That’s my specialty. I would love to.’ So he generously helped give a rap to our young Robbie character for our pilot episode’s pep rally.”
You can check out the rap in full above. As for Rise, it premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.