Many of you have already heard of Epic Rap Battles of History since some of these videos by "Nice Peter" and "EpicLLOYD" have more than 65 million views (I'm coming late to the party).
The two friends rose to fame with the Darth Vader vs. Hitler rap battle (crude and crass but a good idea) and as their popularity grew, they really honed their craft.
What I really like about these different short films is how you can see the improvement in video quality, musicality, and savvy writing. I also really appreciate how much time, raw energy, and creativity it takes to make something like this (now having done a very small amount of video work myself).
For those of you that haven't heard of this super creative, historically whimsical (but relevant) YouTube sensation, check out my personal favorites below.
Please note: these are NOT work appropriate!
Also, if you are like me and didn't know all the historical context of the lyrics, please see the Rap Genius links below each video (click on the lyrical line you want to learn about).
Start Off Easy
Start it off easy with some clever lyrics and fun music.
Rap genius dissects all the lyrics here.
Take It Up a Notch with Some Comedy Star Power
As the the rap battles got more sophisticated and popular, the creators were able to work with their heroes on set. Who doesn't want to see Weird Al Yankovic in a powdered wig rapping about physics?
Rap Genius explains here.
Assemble Cast Awesomeness for Season 3 Finally
Costumes. Enough said.
Lyrical breakdown here.
Fantastic Historical Context Wins Them All
This video is really superb! It has amazing lyrics loaded with important historical and current references, intelligent jokes, and subject appropriate music. All in all, it is my personal favorite by far! Great work guys and keep them coming.
Rap genius breakdown here.
Sooooo... here is one runner up that I just couldn't leave off the list because it is pretty brilliant. Having watched Bob Ross on PBS in the early eighties I laugh every time I see this video! Notice the reference to Picasso's painting with a light highlighted in the background (see original Picasso image here).
Once again, Rap Genius to the rescue (if needed).