Epic Rap Battles of History
|Epic Rap Battles of History|
|Genre||Comedy hip hop
|Created by||Peter Shukoff
|Written by||Peter Shukoff
|Directed by||Dave McCary (seasons 1-2)
Jackson Adams (season 3)
Daniel M. Turcan (season 3)
Peter Shukoff (seasons 3-4)
Mike Betette (seasons 3-4)
Forrest Whaley (episodes 48 & 58)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||58 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Michelle Maloney|
|Running time||1–5 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Maker Studios|
|Original release||September 26, 2010 – present|
Epic Rap Battles of History 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, real and fictional, against one another in a rap battle format. As of December 2015, it is the 18th most subscribed channel on YouTube with over 12.9 million subscribers and over 2.7 billion total video views.
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, Ray William Johnson, Rhett and Link, and Smosh. Media celebrities like rappers Snoop Dogg and Chali 2na, parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic, and the comedian duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have also appeared in the series.
On July 3, 2013, Epic Rap Battle of History's Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney became the first of its singles to be certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States. Nine other singles, including Darth Vader vs. Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking, Dr. Seuss vs Shakespeare, Master Chief vs Leonidas, Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates, Justin Bieber vs Beethoven, Mario Bros. vs Wright Bros., Mr T vs Mr Rogers, and Abe Lincoln vs Chuck Norris were subsequently also certified Gold.
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; as a result, it was not released to the public. Instead, Shukoff and Ahlquist recorded their first official song for the first episode John Lennon vs. Bill O'Reilly.
The 15th episode, called "The Final Battle", marked the end of the first season.This battle pitted EpicLLOYD and NicePeter against each other with cameos from all of the characters they had played over the fifteen episodes. Epic Rap Battles of History later returned on December 8, 2011, hosted on their new channel (moving from NicePeter's personal channel), ERB, with behind-the-scenes videos on their second channel, ERB2. Nice Peter and Maker Studios also created the official website for the series, where fans could 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 announcing that Epic Rap Battles of History would return on October 7, 2013 for a third season. On October 14, ERB released a second video with EpicLLOYD voicing Theodore Roosevelt, who announced the upcoming season's schedule. The third season went on hiatus after the release of Donald Trump vs. Ebenezer Scrooge on December 19, 2013. In March 2014, 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, confirmed that Season 3 would continue on May 5, 2014. "Weird" Al Yankovic, Smosh, and Rhett and Link were also confirmed as guest appearances. The third season concluded with the release of Artists vs. TMNT on July 14, 2014.
On September 30, 2014, a teaser video for the fourth season of Epic Rap Battles of History, featuring the Ghostbusters and MythBusters, was released; the series returned on November 10, 2014 with its 46th episode, Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters. On December 15, 2014, when Steven Spielberg vs. Alfred Hitchcock was released, the fourth season went on hiatus. The season continued on May 25, 2015 and concluded with the release of the season finale, Jim Henson vs. Stan Lee, on August 3, 2015.
It was confirmed in a podcast by NicePeter that there would be a Season 5, with pre-production starting in November once they are back from the world tour.
On December 16, the first ever off-season battle was released, entitled, "Deadpool vs. Boba Fett".
John Lennon, Darth Vader, Abraham Lincoln, Lady Gaga, Hulk Hogan, Ludwig van Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, Easter Bunny, Napoleon Dynamite, Vince Offer, Albus Dumbledore, The Cat in the Hat, Mr. Rogers, Christopher Columbus, Himself
|2||Darth Vader, Master Chief, Luigi, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, HAL 9000 (voice), Freddie Mercury, Abraham Lincoln, Tenth Doctor, Batman, Santa Claus, Nikola Tesla (voice), Lance Armstrong, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Grigori Rasputin, Vladimir Lenin, Vladimir Putin|
|3||Darth Vader, Blackbeard, Bob Ross, Donald Trump, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Rick Grimes, Bill Nye, George Washington, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (voices)|
|4||Jamie Hyneman, Romeo Montague, Zeus (voice), Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Ted "Theodore" Logan, David Copperfield, RoboCop, Friedrich Nietzsche, Julius Caesar, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog (voice)|
|Bonus Battle||Boba Fett (voice)|
|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)|
|4||Adam Savage, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (voice), Clyde Barrow, Thor (voice), Hannibal Lecter, Alfred Hitchcock, Bill S. Preston, Esq, Harry Houdini, Terminator, Socrates, Stan Lee|
|Bonus Battle||Deadpool (voice)|
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4|
|Timothy DeLaGhetto||Kim Jong-Il||Sun Tzu|
|Zach Sherwin||Albert Einstein||Doc Brown, Sherlock Holmes||Ebenezer Scrooge, Stephen King||Egon Spengler, Voltaire, Walt Disney|
|George Watsky||William Shakespeare||Fourth Doctor||Edgar Allan Poe|
|DeStorm Power||Mr. T||Kanye West||Shaka Zulu|
|Rhett and Link||Wilbur and Orville Wright||Donatello di Niccolo and Leonardo da Vinci||Meriwether Lewis and William Clark|
|Keegan-Michael Key||Mahatma Gandhi||Michael Jordan|
|Jordan Peele||Martin Luther King, Jr.||Muhammad Ali|
|Ray William Johnson||Boba Fett (voice), Goku|
|KRNFX||Grant Imahara, Lao Tzu|
||This section may be in need of reorganization to comply with Wikipedia's layout guidelines. (January 2015)|
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (March 2015)|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||15||September 26, 2010||November 16, 2011|
|2||18||December 8, 2011||April 22, 2013|
|3||12||October 7, 2013||July 14, 2014|
|4||12||November 10, 2014||August 3, 2015|
|Bonus Battle||December 16, 2015|
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|
|2014||4th Streamy Awards||Best Writing||Won||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Zach Sherwin, Dante Cimadamore, Mike Betette|
|Music Video||Won||"Goku vs. Superman"|
|Costume Design||Won||Sulai Lopez|
|Editing||Nominated||Andrew Sherman, Ryan Moulton, Daniel Turcan, Peter Shukoff|
|Collaboration||Nominated||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Snoop Dogg ("Moses vs. Santa Claus")|
|2015||5th Streamy Awards||Writing||Won||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Zach Sherwin, Dante Cimadamore and Mike Betette|
|Costume Design||Won||Sulai Lopez|
|Editing||Won||Andrew Sherman, Ryan Moulton, Daniel Turcan and Peter Shukoff|
|Collaboration||Won||Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD, Grace Helbig, and Hannah Hart|
|26th Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Digital Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History|
|2016||27th Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Digital Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History|
- Michael Humphrey (October 26, 2011). "Epic Rap Battles of History: Talking Brash Wit With A YouTube Hit". Forbes. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- "ERB YouTube channel statistics - StatSheep". Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - Epic Rap Battles of History". Recording Industry Association of America. December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- "Peter states that first 3 battles cost approx $50" (YouTubbe video). ERB2. 1.25: YouTube. February 16, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 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. February 19, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "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. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- Sam Gutelle (October 2, 2012). "‘Epic Rap Battles’ Returns, Will Post 6 Episodes Over Next 3 Months". Tubefiler. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- 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.
- Epic Rap Battles of History (October 14, 2013). "Epic Rap Battles of History News with Adam Smith". YouTube. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "Epic Rap Battles of History News, Season 3.5". YouTube. May 18, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "Epic Rap Battles of History Season 4.". Epic Rap Battles of History. YouTube. September 30, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- Epic Rap Battles of History News, Season 4.5. Epic Rap Battles of History. YouTube. February 9, 2015
- Todd Spangler (October 21, 2013). "YouTube Music Awards Nominees Announced". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2013.