Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Wooden Finger Five - January 2015

Epic Rap Battles of History’ is one of those things that I didn’t realise was missing from my life until I found it. I first came across it by searching on Spotify at Christmas for songs with Santa Claus, and finding the ‘Moses vs Santa Claus’ rap battle, which featured Snoop Dogg.

The series is the creation of two rappers/comedians, Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD, and features well-known historical and fictional characters taking on each other in rap battles. It’s very clever, and very funny. All of the rap battles are great, but here are my five favourites:

5. Steve Jobs v Bill Gates

This was one of the more successful battles, in terms of both the number of views and in winning an award. It’s a natural battle to have; Jobs actually gets most of the good hits in during his first verse, though the point is made that Gates was the more successful of the two. A ‘surprise guest’ rapper at the end adds an extra facet to this episode.

Jobs: ‘Why’d you name your company after your dick?'
Gates: ‘I give away your net worth to AIDS research’

4. Steven Spielberg v Alfred Hitchcock

This is one of the longest battles: the Jobs v Gates battle had one guest rapper, this battle has three. Extra cast members aside though the main Spielberg and Hitchcock verses are surprisingly good, and imbue both of these figures – Spielberg in particular – with more personality than I ever gave them credit for.

Spielberg: ‘You rock as many Oscars as that schlep Michael Bay’
Hitchcock: ‘Half your billions should go to John Williams’

3. Albert Einstein v Stephen Hawking

This was another highly successful episode, which perhaps played well to what I imagine is the Epic Rap Battles’ primary audience – i.e. uber-geeks. Einstein naturally makes fun of Hawking’s disability but in a clever way, while Hawking’s main targets are Einstein’s looks and intelligence.

Einstein: ‘I’m as dope as two rappers you better be scared/Cause that means Albert E equals MC squared’
Hawking: ‘There are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 particles in the universe that we can observe/Your mama took the ugly ones and put them into one nerd’

2. Michael Jordan v Muhammed Ali

Almost every line in this battle is a winner. People of my generation, who remember Jordan being the most famous person in the world, will likely appreciate the references to his career and life more, but there are still some good lines about Ali in there.

Jordan: ‘You can fight one man?/I can drive through a whole team’ … ‘I would pass the mic to Pippen but I’m not done scoring’
Ali: ‘Now your daddy got killed and I feel for your family/But your baseball career that was a tragedy’

1. Rick Grimes v Walter White

How good is this battle? Walter White gets in three of the best lines from the series, and I’m still not sure he won this one. The impressions are spot-on: Grimes with a laid-back southern twang, and Walter with a menacing staccato. And it has a good beat; I could listen to this battle many times over.

Grimes: ‘Sheriff Grimes rhymes dirty like my armpit stains’
White: ‘I’ve seen Walter Jr. handle walkers better than you’ … ‘You can bite me/I’ll be standing right here in my tighty Walter Whities’ 

And my favourite lines from the other epic rap battles:

Goku against Superman: ‘How many times are they gonna rewrite your story/Your powers have been boring since the nineteen fucking forties’

Gandhi against Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘I am celibate because I don’t give a fuck’

Clint Eastwood against Bruce Lee: ‘I’d beat you in round two but that’d be unbelievable/No one in your family ever lives to see a sequel’
Mozart against Skrillex: ‘I am the world’s greatest composer/No one knows what you are/Except a lonely little troll who knows how to press a spacebar’

Captain Kirk against Christopher Columbus: ‘Why don’t you boldly go someplace you’ve never gone before/Like India’
Oprah against Ellen: ‘So check under your seat because I got something for ya’

Ellen against Oprah: ‘I’m jumping over Oprah like I’m Tom Cruise on a sofa’
Babe Ruth against Lance Armstrong: ‘Yerr out, with three strikes, and just one ball’

Moses against Santa Claus: ‘It takes nine reindeers to haul your fat ass/You took the Christ out of Christmas and just added more mass’
Ben Franklin against Billy Mays: ‘Cause I’m mint I’m money I’m an educated gentleman/So join or die Bill cause it’s all about the Benjamin’

Mitt Romney against Barack Obama: ‘We all know what went down in that 2008 election/You’re a decent politician with a winning complexion’
Chuck Norris against Abraham Lincoln: ‘I invented rap music/When my heart started beating’

Sherlock Holmes against Batman: ‘Dissing these dynamic douchebags was elementary my dear Watson’
Renaissance artists against Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: ‘We’re like your NES game/Cause we can’t be beat’

Ebenezer Scrooge against Donald Trump: ‘I don’t believe in ghosts/And I don’t believe that hair’
Adolf Hitler against Darth Vader: ‘You call yourself a Dark Lord/You couldn’t even conquer Space Mountain’

Marilyn Monroe against Cleopatra: ‘You think you’re so chic/Up in your fancy palace/Getting low on Marc Antony/Tossing Caesar’s salad’
Dumbledore against Gandalf: ‘The prophecy forgot to mention this day/When I knocked your ass back to Gandalf the Grey’

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