The Broadway musical Hamilton is packed with quotes from and allusions to various rap songs of the past few decades. But the March 23 performances each had an extra one.
In honor of rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, who died earlier that day of diabetes at age 45, Miranda worked the signature line “Here we go yo, here we go, yo" from the Tribe song ”Scenario“ into the show's song ”Yorktown“ at Wednesday evening’s show.
At the matinee Miranda interpolated the line “Can I kick it?,” to which Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan responded, “Yes ya can,” a quote from Phife's ”Can I Kick It?“
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Miranda said he has been heavily influenced by Phife, and told a story about getting into a fistfight at a record store over the last copy of a Phife recording when he was a teen.
Miranda said, “Phife was so unapologetically himself. He rapped about being diabetic, he rapped about being five feet tall. He took the things that you think would discount someone from being able to have a career as an MC and made them superpowers. One of my favorite lines: 'I get loose off of orange juice' [from 'Phony Rappers']. That's Phife.”
Miranda Tweeted the following about the March 23 performances:
Tonight's audience heard Hamilton scream "here we go yo, here we go yo" during Yorktown. #RIPPhifeDawg
Today's audience got to hear Hamilton scream "Can I kick it?" and Mulligan respond, "Yes ya can" during Yorktown.#RIPPhifeDawg
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 23, 2016