clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Watch: Daveed Diggs thinks his Hamilton rap is “medium fast.” Here’s what fast-fast looks like.

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Tony-nominated Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs gets a lot of credit for his lightning-fast rapping in the hit musical, where he plays the dual roles of Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.

"He’s easily the best technical rapper in the show," said New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica. And a FiveThirtyEight analysis found that Diggs's Act 1 solo "Guns and Ships," in which he spits 19 words in three seconds, is one of the fastest songs in Broadway history.

But Diggs doesn’t think it’s such a great accomplishment. "It’s not not fast," he allowed when he stopped by The Tonight Show on Monday. "But in the rap world, that’s medium fast. I can rap faster."

And to prove it, he launched into "Taking Off," a song by his experimental hip-hop group clipping. In 43 seconds he raps 233 words — which works out to 5.4 words per second, just a tad slower than his "Guns and Ships" rate of 6.3 words per second.

And he's not even rapping at full speed for the entire song. He starts slow and builds to a crescendo, and at his fastest he gets through 46 words in 5 seconds, which works out to 9.2 words per second.

Are you watching, Tony voters?