Racist attacks are on the rise in this post-2016-election world but the good news is, the art world is responding. Just days after Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States, Broadway genius Lin-Manuel Miranda released a few tracks that will be part of the Hamilton Mixtape, an album of covers and tracks inspired by the Broadway hit show. One song in particular is echoing what many in the Latino community and in the country are thinking right now.
‘Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)’ is a powerful collaboration between rappers from different backgrounds led by Somalian-Canadian hip hop artist K’naan. There's Mexican American rapper Snow Tha Product, British-Pakistani musician Riz MC and Puerto Rican rapper Residente, known for his clever rhymes and activism in his group Calle 13, slamming the build-the-wall-supporters with his quick delivery in Spanish.
The song starts with a sample from 'Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)', from Hamilton, and then goes into a bilingual Spanish and English message that describe the struggles of immigrants chasing the American Dream.
"I got one job, two jobs, three when I need them/ I got five roommates in this one studio but I never really see them," signs K’naan in the first verse.
Then, chicana rapper Snow Tha Product rhymes about how hard immigrants work without getting any credit. “Ya’ll ain't been working like I do/ I’ll outwork you, it hurts you/ You claim I’m stealing jobs though/ Peter Piper claimed he picked them he just underpaid Pablo/ But there ain't a paper trail when you living in the shadows/ We're America’s ghost writers the credit is only borrowed,” she sings.
The 29 year-old Snow Tha Product (real name: Claudia Feliciano), says she was the first to record her part of the 'Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)'. The record's producers invited her to the project after the success of her politically-charged video 'Despierta', a call for Latinos, earlier this year. When she was told that Residente was also gonna be in the song, she flipped out. "It was crazy how much of an impact it had on me because I'm such a big fan," the rapper said in a phone interview to Uforia Music. Being one of the few female rappers in the game, and as a Latina, she is realizing her own influence on others. "There has been a lot of people that, you know, quote my lines and it’s pretty amazing."
But maybe some of the most powerful rhymes of the song come from Residente singing a friendly reminder about history in español. " Sin pasaporte americano /porque la mitad de gringolandia es terreno mexicano ( Without an American passport/ ‘cause half of the USA is Mexican land),” sings Residente, also Lin-Manuel Miranda’s third cousin. “ Nosotros les sembramos el árbol y ellos se comen la fruta/ Somos los que cruzaron/ Aquí vinimos a buscar el oro que nos robaron (We plant the tree and they eat the fruit/ We are the ones who crossed / We came here to look for the gold they stole from us).”
Apparently, Miranda's dad can't stop listening to Residente's verse either.
The Hamilton Mixtape will be released in December. Meanwhile, you can listen some of the album tracks such as 'Satisfied', with Sia, Miguel and Queen Latifah; 'My Shot', by Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz and Nate Ruess; and 'It's Quiet Uptown', by Kelly Clarkson on Spotify.