Hulu will release a documentary about Lin-Manuel Miranda's start in freestyle rap
Before there was Hamilton and In The Heights, there was Freestyle Love Supreme, an improv hip-hop group that built a web of beats and lyrics off of a single crowd-suggested word. On June 5th, Hulu will drop a documentary about how the group got started, and hows it’s original members—including the now-renown Lin-Manuel Miranda—became the founding fathers of the Broadway hip-hop revolution.
In the early aughts, Miranda pulled together friends Thomas Kail, and Anthony Veneziale (and later, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Andrew Bancroft, Christopher Jackson, Arthur Lewis, James Monroe Iglehart, Bill Sherman, and Chris Sullivan). Together, they became Freestyle Love Supreme in the summer of 2005.
Director Andrew Fried began chronicling the group’s momentum back in the day, and ultimately followed them for 15 years. Fried’s documentary was chosen as an Official Selection at Sundance 2020.
“Freestyle Love Supreme was a way for these carefree artists out of college to experiment with theatre and craft their own unique musical sound,” the Sundance description reads, per BroadwayDirect.com. “This film chronicles a 15-year journey of twists and turns, friendship, and unprecedented musical talent—culminating with much-anticipated reunion performances in New York City in 2019.”
If Freestyle Love Supreme never came to fruition and never found the success it did throughout the 2000s and 2010s, we would have never been blessed with the hip-hop theater masterpieces Miranda later created. “A lot of the people in Freestyle Love Supreme are shaping what the American theater looks like now,” Veneziale says in the Hulu trailer.
Freestyle Love Supreme started from the bottom, now there here—and thank goodness for that.