Earlier this week, the Supreme Court announced it would review the case for President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven, predominantly Muslim countries in October. In the meantime, the court’s decision allows a limited version of the ban to be enforced, effectively reversing the decisions by lower courts, which overwhelmingly came out against the ban Trump instituted during his first week in office and the revised edition his administration released last month.
It’s into this uncertain context that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical and cultural juggernaut , has released a new video starring actor Riz Ahmedactor Riz Ahmed for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” a take from for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” a take from , has released a new video starring The Hamilton Mixtape. (As the credits roll, there’s Daveed Diggs, the multihyphenate actor and performer who originated the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson roles in Broadway’s Hamilton.)
Ahmed—joining the ranks of rapper-actors like Ansel Elgort, alias Ansolo, and rapping under the name Riz MC—is joined by K’naan, Residente, and Snow tha Product, a diverse crew of rappers delivering their verses in both Spanish and English. The video moves through sweat shops where workers toil away sewing American flags, orange orchards, factory farms, the underbellies of trains and ships transporting refugees, a bunker raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a mine, hit by an explosion—in short, a cross-section of the often unsavory, dangerous, yet necessary jobs and untenable living situations that are all too frequently all that’s available to immigrants to the United States. (“America’s ghost writers, the credit’s only borrowed,” one particularly apt line goes.)
Throughout it all, like a pulse moving them forward, the rappers repeat the chorus, “Look how far I’ve come—Immigrants, we get the job done.” The point: The individuals depicted in the video might be among the least privileged Americans, but they’re making it work.
The new video, especially resonant given the recent Supreme Court decision and the uptick in hate crimes against Muslim-Americans since Trump took office, links Hamilton’s historical roots with contemporary issues.
Ahmed, for his part, is a vocal activist—since he ascended to mainstream recognition with The Night Of, Rogue One, and The OA—and also recently penned an essay entitled “Typecast as a Terrorist” for The Guardian, about his own experiences with stereotyping as a British Pakistani, and he initiated an online campaign that raised more than $200,000 to support Syrian refugees.
Plus, he’s also rumored to be in the running to play Alexander Hamilton, the role Lin-Manuel Miranda originated on Broadway, in the West End production of Hamilton—and this seems as good an audition reel as any.
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