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" Biggie and Big Pun were the best storytellers of the '90s. I would get wrapped up in the narrative of what they were talking about. "
" The reason 'Hamilton' works is because there is no distance between that story that happened 200-some-odd years ago and now, because it looks like America now. It helps create a connection that wouldn't have been there if it was 20 white guys on stage. "
" You know what's a great way of tricking people into thinking you're a genius? Write a show about geniuses! "
" A lot of the reason the Universal version of 'Heights' went away is that they were afraid they didn't have a big enough Latino star to bankroll this movie. The people I dealt with at the studio who wanted to make this movie were very passionate about it. "
" I like the quiet it takes to pursue an idea the way I pursued 'Hamilton,' but I couldn't write a book, because there's no applause at the end of writing a book. "
" I kind of need to be ambulatory to write lyrics. "
" Making words rhyme for a living is one of the great joys of my life... That's a superpower I've been very conscious of developing. I started at the same level as everybody else, and then I just listened to more music and talked to myself until it was an actual superpower I could pull out on special occasions. "
" In the best works of fiction, there's no mustache-twirling villain. I try to write shows where even the bad guy's got his reasons. "
" The only other thing that's like video games for me is watching tennis on TV. I can have it on, and there's a rhythmic quality to it - I can be watching Wimbledon or the U.S. Open and still be working. "
" I don't differentiate between black and Latino actors. We're in the same struggle to be represented in a way that's even close to honest. And I can tell you that the amount of Latino characters I can point at and say, 'That's what my life experience looks like' - I can't think of any off the top of my head besides Jimmy Smits in 'Mi Familia.' "
" The fun for me in collaboration is, one, working with other people just makes you smarter; that's proven. "
" The only shows I saw as a kid were that holy trinity: 'Les Miz,' 'Cats,' 'Phantom.' "
" The musicals that leave us kind of staggering on our feet are the ones that really reach for a lot. "
" Everything we know about Hamilton, we knew when he was alive, because he told us. "
" What's incredible about 'Hamilton,' and the reason you can't get a ticket, is because everyone's responding to it. Everyone is seeing a bit of themselves in it. "
" Pretty much anything William Shatner is in is great. He's great at playing that 'I'm the only one sane in the world' character. "
" What I learned from my go-round with 'In the Heights' is that it's tough to make a movie. In Hollywood, even the people in charge have people in charge. "
" In 'Hamilton,' we're telling the stories of old, dead white men, but we're using actors of color, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience. "
" You could do a 'Les Mis'-type musical about Hamilton, but it would have to be 12 hours long, because the amount of words on the bars when you're writing a typical song - that's maybe got 10 words per line. "
" I made a movie when I was 15 years old with all my friends. This is when IMDb was a little more lax with its proceedings, so it's listed as one of my projects. I was 15 years old; it's a terrible movie. I wrote 50 percent of it because I wanted to kiss this one girl, and I wrote a kissing scene for it. "
" When I was asked to do a song from 'In the Heights' at the White House in 2009, I chose instead to do 'Alexander Hamilton' because I felt like I was meeting a moment. "
" Sometimes a line enters your head, and you're so grateful for it. You go online to check to see if anyone wrote it before you. You must have stolen it. "
" We've had characters like Trump in American politics forever, characters who trade on xenophobia. "
" I like to separate the music- and lyric-writing processes if I can. I'll sort of noodle around on my keyboard and my computer until I have a beat or a chord progression, I'll record it as a loop, export it to iTunes, then walk around with the loop and sort of talk to myself in the loop, and that's how I get the lyrics. "
" I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood. We just knew the rule was you're going to have to work twice as hard. "
" I'm honored to have been chosen as a fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. I am hugely appreciative for the support I have had throughout my life, and I look forward to using the grant to help institutions that have fed my soul and to support new work that inspires me. "
" I only know how to write musicals. "
" There's been lots of theater that uses hip-hop in it, but more often than not, it's used as a joke - isn't it hilarious that these characters are rapping. I treat it as a musical form, and a musical form that allows you to pack in a ton of lyric. "
" My only responsibility as a playwright and a storyteller is to give you the time of your life in the theatre. I just happen to think that with Hamilton's story, sticking close to the facts helps me. All the most interesting things in the show happened. "
" I couldn't possibly write 'Next to Normal,' but God, I can weep and watch 'Next to Normal' five times. "
" I think I'm always subconsciously trying to write the ideal school play. Lots of parts for everybody, great parts for women - don't forget, more girls try out than boys in the school play; everyone gets to be in the school play. "