Saturday, 5 July 2014

EPIC rap battles



Most knowledgeable YouTube aspirants dream of being viral, and one of the key indicators that you are a huge success is if your video is featured in the <What's Popular> section, when you first come to the Youtube website. A series of videos have gained a good deal of traction in the "What's Popular" category are the Epic Rap Battles of History set of videos. Created in 2010, and based on a comedy skit that was not received as well as the originators (Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist), had planned, Epic Rap Battles has become, according to Wikipedia, the 15th most subscribed channel on YouTube. Epic Rap Battles generally pit one (and occasionally two) people of a similar field in history against each other, and have an imaginary battle, each with a loosely prescribed time limit for each round. The battles have become so popular that celebrities themselves have featured in them over the last 2 years (e.g. Snoop Dogg and 'Weird Al' Yankovic). These are some of the celebrities covered in Epic Rap Battles Videos:

Justin Bieber Versus Beethoven
Einstein Versus Steven Hawking
Goku Versus Superman
Lance Armstrong Versus Babe Ruth

or wildly different characters with no seeming association otherwise:

Genghis Khan versus the Easter Bunny
Abraham Lincoln Versus Chuck Norris
Lady Gaga Versus Sarah Palin
John Lennon Versus Bill O'Reilly and many more.

My personal favourite lately is Edgar Allen Poe Versus Stephen King, which I will present to you a little later. E.R.B. guys are really popular for a good reason. They offer infectious beats, surprisingly good likenesses for celebrities, professional audio and visual quality, and very well known celebrities. At a basic level though, beyond the visuals it is also excellent poetry with consistent rhythmic meter, great puns, and allusions, and metaphors added in for good measure. It is also very well researched. consider the first line of one of the more recent  Rap Battles between Stephen King (Zach Sherwin) and Allen- Poe (George Watsky), where he refers to a trochee (A a metrical foot used in formal poetry which contains a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one- something I learned after doing some research, myself).

 
 For these reasons and more I look forward to more Epic Rap Battles in the future. 

Ben Mathewson.

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