Epic Rap Battles of History
|Epic Rap Battles of History|
|Created by||Peter Shukoff
|Written by||Peter Shukoff
|Directed by||Dave McCary (seasons 1 and 2)
Jackson Adams (season 3)
Daniel M. Turcan (season 3)
Peter Shukoff (season 3)
Mike Betette (season 3)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||45|
|Executive producer(s)||Michelle Maloney|
|Running time||1–4 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Maker Studios|
|Original run||September 26, 2010 – present|
Epic Rap Battles of History, officially shortened to ERB or ERBoH, is a YouTube video series created by Peter Shukoff (a.k.a. Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (a.k.a. EpicLLOYD). The series pits famous historical and pop culture figures, either fictional or otherwise, against one another in a rap battle format. As of June 2014 it was the 15th most subscribed to channel on YouTube with over 10 million subscribers  and over 1 billion total views. Their YouTube videos average approximately 30 million views per video. Although early episodes of the series featured only Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD, later episodes have regularly featured guest appearances from other internet celebrities such as Lisa Donovan, Timothy DeLaGhetto, George Watsky, DeStorm Power, Jesse Wellens, Jenna Marbles, Rhett and Link, Smosh, and PewDiePie. Media celebrities like rapper Snoop Dogg, parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic, and the comedian duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are also featured in the series.
Epic Rap Battles of History has been housed on its own YouTube channel since December 2011.
On October 29, 2013, ERB's "Darth Vader vs. Hitler" became one of its singles to be certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States. It also spawned 2 more rap battles ("Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking" and "Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney") that were certified as Gold singles by the RIAA in October 29, 2013 and July 3, 2013, respectively.
History and development
The idea for historical figures rapping against each other was conceived by Ahlquist, who gave the idea to Shukoff as an improvised show, which was titled "Check OneTwo"; as the two worked on improvisation skits, along with Zach Sherwin, who has appeared on the series. They were met with lots of difficulty at first and decided that it would fare much better as a YouTube series than an improv show. The first three rap battles were each shot on a $50 budget. On September 26, 2010, the first rap battle was uploaded to YouTube, featuring Shukoff as John Lennon and Ahlquist as Bill O'Reilly.
Before the web series even existed on YouTube, Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD recorded the very first song, which was a battle between Child's Play antagonist Chucky and actor Michael J. Fox. The song was freestyle and poorly made, so they never released it to the public and instead recorded their first official song for the first episode "John Lennon vs. Bill O'Reilly". The series' second installment, "Darth Vader vs. Hitler", skyrocketed the series' popularity, as well as Nice Peter's and EpicLLOYD's channels, making them YouTube stars.
The 15th episode, called the "Final Battle", was actually a season finale. Epic Rap Battles returned on December 8, 2011, hosted on their new channel (moving from NicePeter's channel), ERB, with Behind the Scenes videos on their second channel, ERB2.
Nice Peter and Maker Studios also created the official website for Epic Rap Battles of History, where the fans can vote on winners for each video, and read short comical first-person biographies by each character.
On September 27, 2012, following a four-month pause after the "Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates" episode, a video was released on the series' YouTube channel where EpicLLOYD (voicing to an animation of Theodore Roosevelt) announced that new episodes would be released every two weeks until the Christmas holidays, starting with the 22nd episode "Frank Sinatra vs. Freddie Mercury" (aired on October 1, 2012). "Moses vs. Santa Claus" (aired on December 10, 2012) was the last battle before taking a break for the holidays.
On February 17, 2013, Epic Rap Battles of History was nominated for five Streamy Awards, winning four of them. Shukoff and Ahlquist also performed part of the "Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates" battle live.
On September 9, 2013, ERB uploaded a trailer video on their channel, which confirms that Epic Rap Battles of History would be returning on October 7, 2013 for a third season, with a third match-up between Adolf Hitler and Darth Vader. On October 14, released a second video with EpicLLOYD voicing Theodore Roosevelt, who announced the next episodes, that were scheduled on October 21, November 4 and 18, December 2 and 16. Both episodes released in December had delays due to technical problems.
In March 2014, in an episode of Nice Peter's weekly show The Monday Show, published on March 11, and a third announcement video of Epic Rap Battles of History News, published on March 18, confirms that season 3 will continue on May 5. "Weird" Al Yankovic, Smosh and Rhett and Link are confirmed as guest appearances as well as the appearances of the characters Walter White from Breaking Bad and Goku from Dragon Ball. Shukoff has confirmed William Wallace vs. George Washington will be an upcoming battle.
In the May 5, 2014 episode, Rick Grimes vs. Walter White, the end of the video included two short clips showing Superman and Edgar Allan Poe as characters in upcoming battles in the remainder of season 3. The following episode, Goku vs. Superman, featured a clip of "Weird" Al Yankovic as Sir Isaac Newton.
In the Behind the Scenes video for the season 3 finale, EpicLLOYD stated there would be a season 4.
|1||Bill O'Reilly, Adolf Hitler, Chuck Norris, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benjamin Franklin, Gandalf, Thing 1 and Thing 2, James T. Kirk, Himself|
|2||Adolf Hitler, Leonidas I (voice), Mario, Elvis Presley, Bill Gates, Frank Sinatra, Mitt Romney, Clint Eastwood, Robin, Christmas Elves, Adam, Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, Skrillex, Joseph Stalin, Mikhail Gorbachev|
|3||Adolf Hitler, Al Capone, Pablo Picasso, J. P. Morgan, Walter White, Superman, William Wallace, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (voices and portrayals)|
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3|
|Zach Sherwin||Albert Einstein||Doc Brown, Sherlock Holmes||Ebenezer Scrooge, Stephen King|
|George Watsky||William Shakespeare||Fourth Doctor||Edgar Allan Poe|
|DeStorm Power||Mr. T||Kanye West|
|Rhett and Link||Wilbur and Orville Wright||Donatello di Niccolo and Leonardo da Vinci|
|Keegan-Michael Key||Mahatma Gandhi||Michael Jordan|
|Jordan Peele||Martin Luther King, Jr.||Muhammad Ali|
|Ray William Johnson||Boba Fett (voice), Goku|
Season 1 (2010–2011)
All first season videos were uploaded onto Shukoff's channel, NicePeter.
|Title||Running time||Original airdate||Link|
|1||1||"John Lennon vs. Bill O'Reilly"||1:37||September 26, 2010|||
|Musician, liberal activist, and former member of the Beatles, John Lennon (Nice Peter), battles conservative FOX News reporter Bill O'Reilly (EpicLLOYD).|
|2||2||"Darth Vader vs. Hitler"||1:41||November 10, 2010|||
|Star Wars antagonist Darth Vader (Nice Peter) battles Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler (EpicLLOYD). The battle ends with Hitler imprisoned in carbonite by Darth Vader.|
|3||3||"Abe Lincoln vs. Chuck Norris"||2:08||December 8, 2010|||
|The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln (Nice Peter), battles actor and martial artist Chuck Norris (EpicLLOYD).|
|4||4||"Sarah Palin vs. Lady Gaga"||2:26||January 11, 2011|||
|presidential nominee John McCain.|
|5||5||"Hulk Hogan and Macho Man vs. Kim Jong-il"||2:39||February 2, 2011|||
Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (Nice Peter) battles Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il (Tim Delaghetto). After the third verse, Kim Jong-il shoots Hulk Hogan with a rocket-propelled grenade disabling him from continuing; professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage (EpicLLOYD) joins in and finishes the battle.
|6||6||"Justin Bieber vs. Beethoven"||2:29||March 2, 2011|||
|Johann Sebastian Bach.|
|7||7||"Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking"||2:36||March 30, 2011|||
|8||8||"Genghis Khan vs. Easter Bunny"||1:57||April 20, 2011|||
|Jesus Christ, Dante Cimadamore as Jesus Quintana from The Big Lebowski, Kurt as a bystander named in the credits as 'A Man Named Jesus', and Jon Na as Genghis Khan's descendants.|
|9||9||"Napoleon vs. Napoleon"||2:19||May 18, 2011|||
|French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (EpicLLOYD) battles Napoleon Dynamite (Nice Peter), the main character from the film of the same name.|
|10||10||"Ben Franklin vs. Billy Mays"||2:31||June 23, 2011|||
United States Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin (EpicLLOYD), battles TV salesman Billy Mays (Colin J. Sweeney). After the third verse, Mays suffers a fatal heart attack (a reference to his real-life death). TV salesman Vince Offer (Nice Peter) appears and finishes the battle.
|11||11||"Gandalf vs. Dumbledore"||2:10||July 14, 2011|||
|12||12||"Dr. Seuss vs. Shakespeare"||2:51||August 17, 2011|||
|throat cancer). Instead, he summons his characters to participate in the battle, in which The Cat in the Hat (Nice Peter) comes in the second verse and Thing One and Thing Two (EpicLLOYD) finishes in the fourth verse.|
|13||13||"Mr. T vs. Mr. Rogers"||2:11||September 14, 2011|||
|Mr. McFeely from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, as well as John "Hannibal" Smith, H. M. Murdock and Templeton "Faceman" Peck from The A-Team. Vince Horiuchi features as a stunt double for Mr. Rogers.|
|14||14||"Columbus vs. Captain Kirk"||2:28||October 10, 2011|||
|Omar Gharaibeh and Jon Na as Star Trek characters Spock and Hikaru Sulu respectively and Mary Gutfleisch as an unnamed 'Hot Alien' who is wooed by Kirk.|
|15||15||"The Final Battle: Nice Peter vs. EpicLLOYD"||2:50||November 16, 2011|||
The creators of Epic Rap Battles of History, Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD, battle as fictionalized versions of their real-life personae. The battle ends with KassemG intervening, leading to the announcement of season 2.
Season 2 (2011–2013)
From the second season onwards, the battles were housed on their own YouTube channel: ERB.
|Title||Running time||Original airdate||Link|
|16||1||"Hitler vs. Vader 2"||2:42||December 8, 2011|||
Darth Vader (Nice Peter) thaws out Adolf Hitler (EpicLLOYD) after freezing him in carbonite in season 1, before challenging him to a second battle. The battle ends with Adolf Hitler being dropped into a rancor pit.
|17||2||"Master Chief vs. Leonidas"||2:12||January 31, 2012|||
|Jeana as Leonidas's wife, Gorgo; EpicLLOYD as his son, Pleistarchus (credited as Six Year Old Son); and Gabe Michael and Dante Cimadamore as Spartans.|
|18||3||"Mario Bros. vs. Wright Bros."||1:46||February 16, 2012|||
|Ceciley Jenkins makes a cameo appearance as Super Mario character Princess Peach.|
|19||4||"Michael Jackson vs. Elvis Presley"||2:17||April 2, 2012|||
|The Facts of Life character Tootie Ramsey.|
|20||5||"Cleopatra vs. Marilyn Monroe"||1:46||May 7, 2012|||
|KassemG as himself, EpicLLOYD as actor Marlon Brando and Nice Peter as 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.|
|21||6||"Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates"||2:48||June 14, 2012|||
|The Chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates (EpicLLOYD), battles the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs (Nice Peter). During the battle, Steve Jobs leaves to "turn heaven a profit" (a reference to his real-life death) and HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey (voiced by Nice Peter) finishes the battle as a third-party.|
|22||7||"Frank Sinatra vs. Freddie Mercury"||2:12||October 1, 2012|||
|Tay Zonday as musician Sammy Davis, Jr..|
|23||8||"Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney"||3:30||October 15, 2012|||
|The candidates for the 2012 Presidential Election face off in a rap battle, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney (EpicLLOYD) and Democrat candidate and current President of the United States, Barack Obama (Iman Crosson). In the final verse, former American president Abraham Lincoln (Nice Peter) returns from episode 3, to battle both candidates.|
|24||9||"Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who"||2:23||October 29, 2012|||
|Marty McFly, and Dante Cimadamore as a Dalek from Doctor Who.|
|25||10||"Clint Eastwood vs. Bruce Lee"||1:50||November 12, 2012|||
|Xin Wuku (who also acts as a stunt double for Bruce Lee) as an unnamed 'Urban Ninja' who is defeated by Bruce Lee.|
|26||11||"Batman vs. Sherlock Holmes"||2:49||November 27, 2012|||
|Fictional detective Sherlock Holmes (Zach Sherwin), battles comic book hero Batman (Nice Peter). The characters' respective sidekicks, Dr. Watson (Kyle Mooney) and Robin (EpicLLOYD), also participate in the battle.|
|27||12||"Moses vs. Santa Claus"||2:20||December 10, 2012|||
Jewish prophet Moses (special guest star Snoop Dogg) battles the modern personification of Christmas, Santa Claus (Nice Peter). Christmas Elves (EpicLLOYD) join Santa Claus during his second verse.
|28||13||"Adam vs. Eve"||2:04||February 11, 2013|||
Note: Due to the fact that EpicLLOYD and Jenna Marbles are wearing underwear made of leaves and the strong language, this video was briefly age-gated on YouTube to registered users above 18, later the age limit was removed and is current viewable for everyone.
|29||14||"Gandhi vs. Martin Luther King Jr."||1:39||February 25, 2013|||
Leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jordan Peele), battles Mahatma Gandhi (Keegan-Michael Key), leader of Indian nationalism. After the initial verses, crowds gather around them before they hug and act like they make up, only to rap while embracing each other.
|30||15||"Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison"||2:04||March 11, 2013|||
|American inventor of the first successful lightbulb, Thomas Edison (EpicLLOYD) battles Serbian electrical engineer Nikola Tesla (Dante Cimadamore, voiced by Nice Peter).|
|31||16||"Babe Ruth vs. Lance Armstrong"||2:07||March 25, 2013|||
|Professional baseball player Babe Ruth (EpicLLOYD) battles former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong (Nice Peter).|
|32||17||"Mozart vs. Skrillex"||2:09||April 8, 2013|||
|18th century classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Nice Peter) battles electronic musician Skrillex (EpicLLOYD).|
|33||18||"Rasputin vs. Stalin"||3:38||April 22, 2013|||
Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin (Nice Peter) battles Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin (EpicLLOYD). Communist leader Vladimir Lenin (Nice Peter), Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev (EpicLLOYD), and Russian president Vladimir Putin (Nice Peter) also participate in the battle.
Season 3 (2013–2014)
|Title||Running time||Original airdate||Link|
|34||1||"Hitler vs. Vader 3"||2:38||October 7, 2013|||
Adolf Hitler (EpicLLOYD) escapes from the rancor pit and challenges Darth Vader (Nice Peter) for another rematch. At one point, Star Wars character Boba Fett (voiced by Ray William Johnson and acted by Atul Singh and Brian Neunhoffer) joins in for Darth Vader, but is shot by Hitler. The battle ends with Hitler getting sliced in half by Darth Vader's lightsaber.
Note: This episode concludes the battle trilogy between Adolf Hitler and Darth Vader. This episode was temporarily removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim from Sevastian Belooussov.
|35||2||"Blackbeard vs. Al Capone"||2:39||October 21, 2013|||
|Xin Wuku as Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag protagonist Edward Kenway. Bryce Wissel, Shaun Lewin and Donnie Davis as pirates. Shaun Lewin, Yev Belilovsky and Dante Cimadamore as gangsters.|
|36||3||"Miley Cyrus vs. Joan of Arc"||2:25||November 4, 2013|||
|Hannah Montana characters Miley Stewart and Lilly Truscott, respectively.|
|37||4||"Bob Ross vs. Pablo Picasso"||2:06||November 18, 2013|||
|American painter Bob Ross (Nice Peter), the host of The Joy of Painting, battles Spanish painter Pablo Picasso (EpicLLOYD), known for painting Guernica.|
|38||5||"Michael Jordan vs. Muhammad Ali"||2:36||December 3, 2013|||
|39||6||"Donald Trump vs. Ebenezer Scrooge"||3:26||December 19, 2013|||
American business magnate Donald Trump (Nice Peter) battles Ebenezer Scrooge (Zach Sherwin), the main character of Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol. After Trump leaves, the Ghost of Christmas Past in the form of banker J. P. Morgan (EpicLLOYD), the Ghost of Christmas Present in the form of rapper Kanye West (DeStorm Power) and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in his original form (Nice Peter) each appear and face off with Scrooge.
Note: This episode was originally scheduled on December 16.
|40||7||"Rick Grimes vs. Walter White"||2:17||May 5, 2014|||
|41||8||"Goku vs. Superman"||1:48||May 19, 2014|||
|Jimmy Olsen and Dragon Ball character Krillin.|
|42||9||"Stephen King vs. Edgar Allan Poe"||2:27||June 2, 2014|||
|43||10||"Sir Isaac Newton vs. Bill Nye"||2:47||June 16, 2014|||
American scientist Bill Nye (Nice Peter) battles English physicist Sir Isaac Newton ("Weird Al" Yankovic). After Newton finishes his second verse, American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (Chali 2na) steps in and performs the last verse.
|44||11||"George Washington vs. William Wallace"||2:32||June 30, 2014|||
|Americans; Reynaldo Garnica, Seth Brown and Joey Greer as Scotsmen.|
|45||12||"Artists vs. TMNT"||2:14||July 14, 2014|||
Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci (Link Neal), Donatello di Niccolo (Rhett McLaughlin), Michelangelo Buonarroti (Ian Hecox) and Raphael Sanzio da Urbino (Anthony Padilla) battle against Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles protagonists Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo (voiced by Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD, all portrayed by EpicLLOYD).Cameo appearances: Xin Wuku as a stunt double for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Awards and nominations
|2013||3rd Streamy Awards||Best Writing: Comedy||Nominated||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist|
|Best Online Musician||Won||Peter Shukoff|
|Best Original Song||Won||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist ("Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates")|
|Best Music Series||Won||Epic Rap Battles of History|
|Best Use of Fashion & Design||Won||Mary Gutfleisch|
|1st YouTube Music Awards||Video of the Year||Nominated||("Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney")|
|Artist of the Year||Nominated||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist|
- Michael Humphrey (October 26, 2011). "Epic Rap Battles of History: Talking Brash Wit With A YouTube Hit". Forbes.
- Sam Gutelle (October 2, 2012). "‘Epic Rap Battles’ Returns, Will Post 6 Episodes Over Next 3 Months". Tubefiler.
- "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - May 19, 2014". RIAA. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- "Peter states that first 3 battles cost approx $50" (YouTubbe video). YouTube.com. 1.25: ERB2. 16 February 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- Leslie Kaufman (October 29, 2013). "Making Silly Showdowns for YouTube". New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- "The First Epic Rap Battle of History - Michael J. Fox vs Chucky". YouTube. 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- "College News grades Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2". College News. December 14, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- Epic Rap Battles of History. "Epic Rap Battles of History". Maker Studios. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- Daniel Perez (October 2, 2012). "'Epic Rap Battles' Pits Queen's Freddy Mercury vs Frank Sinatra In Season 2 Premiere [VIDEO]". International Digital Times. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Lloyd Ahlquist (September 27, 2012). "Epic Rap Battles of History News with Theodore Roosevelt.". Epic Rap Battles of History. YouTube. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "3RD ANNUAL NOMINEES". Streamys. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- Epic Rap Battles of History (April 22, 2013). "Epic Rap Battles of History - Behind the Scenes - Rasputin vs Stalin". YouTube. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Epic Rap Battles of History (May 22, 2013). "Epic Rap Battles of History News with Teddy Roosevelt 2". YouTube. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- William Goodman (October 7, 2013). "Hitler Versus Vader Rematch From Epic Rap Battles Of History (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- Epic Rap Battles of History (14 October 2013). "Epic Rap Battles of History News with Adam Smith". YouTube. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Epic Rap Battles of History News, Season 3.5". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- "Snoop Lion Fights Santa On ‘Epic Rap Battles Of History’ [Video]". Inquisitr. December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- William Goodman (October 22, 2013). "Blackbeard Versus Al Capone From Epic Rap Battles Of History (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
- "Keegan M Key in next ERB" (Twitter post). Twitter. Keegan M Key. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013. "We have a new one coming out after Thanksgiving. Muhammad Ali versus Michael Jordan..."
- 12:03 PM (2013-12-19). "ERB News - Epic Rap Battles of History #39". Erboh.com. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- "Twitter / ERBofHistory: A little peak at what's to". Twitter.com. 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- "*Audio Preview* Rick Grimes VS. Walter White: Epic Rap Battles of History #40- Season 3". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
- Klima, Jeff (May 21, 2014). "Epic Rap Battles’ Nice Peter Lyrically Details Goku vs. Superman, Meeting Obama [INTERVIEW]". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Kellogg, Carolyn (June 3, 2014). "Stephen King versus Edgar Allan Poe -- the 'Epic Rap Battle'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Barness, Sarah (June 17, 2014). "Weird Al And 'Bill Nye' Face Off In Epic Rap Battle Because The Universe Is Infinitely Awesome". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- Landau, Joel (June 30, 2014). "SEE IT: Epic Rap Battles of History pairs 'badasses' George Washington, William Wallace". New Yorl Daily News. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- Cohen, Joshua (July 14, 2014). "Smosh, Rhett & Link, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Battle On Season Finale Of ‘ERB’ - See more at: http://www.tubefilter.com/2014/07/14/epic-rap-battles-of-history-smosh-rhett-link-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles/#sthash.7GLrg7q3.dpuf". Tubefilter. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- Todd Spangler (October 21, 2013). "YouTube Music Awards Nominees Announced". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2013.