Rita Moreno dropped knowledge and dope "Hamilton"-inspired rhymes while delivering the commencement address at the Berklee College of Music Saturday.
The 84-year-old Puerto Rican actress and singer began her speech with a monologue from Terrence McNally's award-winning play "Master Class" before breaking into a totally amazing rap urging grads to use their craft to effect change in the world around them.
“My choice, a voice to articulate, to lay it straight on this date my fate is to relate with rhythm and passion that you have a mission,” she began. “I’m dishin’ that your education is a foundation for more than just strummin’ and drummin’. Playin’ the reeds, the deeds, they figure into your success. Hard work and discipline, I’ll mention. You must have the audacity, the pluck, the grit, the perspicacity... Your talent may be terrific, your writing prolific, but do you have the motivation to use your creation for this generation?"
Moreno paused for a few beats, allowing the crowd to pick up what she was putting down.
"Will you invent the vocabulary of dissonance for love, for good, of revolution, if needed, in the institution of society, should it fail to provide the variety to include all people, races, kinds? If it is blind to the human condition, will you call it to contrition? Speak truth to power, infuse the news—there are other views to choose," she continued.
In her "epilogue," the legendary EGOT winner shared her unique commencement speech was inspired by fellow Puerto Rican thespian, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
"It's Mr. Hamilton that brought the rhyme to mind," she rapped. "Damn, I’ve seen that play three time[s]. Burned in my mind. Lin caused this crime of mine, so I read him his Miranda rights. I’m speakin’ to that other Puerto Rican, so I take flight. Yo, I am history.”