Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist created “Epic Rap Battles of History” in September 2010 as a way to showcase legendary figures from history and pop culture using cleverly written rap lyrics and pitting caricatures of said legends against one another. They bootstrapped the first three episodes with a budget of only $150. The talented duo went on to create more than 50 episodes over the course of four seasons and published them to their YouTube channel for adoring fans to enjoy.
We’re absolutely amazed at the range of topics explored by “Epic Rap Battles of History” and how each was presented in such engaging, fun, and hilarious ways. They’ve pitted Ghostbusters against the Mythbusters, Robocop against the Terminator, Steve Jobs against Bill Gates, Spielberg against Hitchcock, and Darth Vader against Adolph Hitler. Every battle is packed full of nuance and references that will surprise and delight even the most discerning pop culture aficionado. Skuhoff and Ahlquist have even managed to make rather dry topics like historic philosophers enjoyable and amazing.
The creators of “Epic Rap Battles of History” also do a great job when it comes to keeping their fans engaged. At the close of each video, fans are encouraged to vote for who won the battle. Skuhoff and Ahlquist also ask fans to recommend what topics and historic figures should be featured in the next battle.
Shukoff and Ahlquist’s creativity and ability to keep the rap battle model fresh made “Epic Rap Battles of History” the 16th most subscribed YouTube channel in June 2015—netting more than 12 million subscribers and well beyond 1.7 billion total views. They even took the show on the road in 2015 with live performances in the United States and Europe. Simply amazing! We can hardly wait to see what they’ll surprise the Internet with next.