Back in September of 2010, two guys named Peter and Lloyd started a YouTube video series called Epic Rap Battles of History, or ERB for short. They quickly gained a fan base, and now six years later, the official ERB YouTube channel has over 13 million subscribers and over 2 billion views!.
All of those views and subscribers are well earned, since the writing and production value has risen exponentially over the years. They've had huge hits such as J.R.R. Tolkien vs. George R. R. Martin, Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates, and Steven Spielberg vs. Alfred Hitchcock.
Their latest Epic Rap Battle arrived just in time to capitalize of the rising popularity of Pokemon. First Pokemon Go came out and made non-gamers roam the streets looking for Jigglypuffs. Then Pokemon Sun and Moon were released to give Pokemon fans a whole new adventure to enjoy. And now, Epic Rap Battles of History has released Ash Ketchum vs. Charles Darwin, for fans of comedy to get behind the franchise that has been exploding in popularity recently.
Check it out here (Warning: NSFW):
Every Epic Rap Battle revolves around a theme, such as Bob Ross vs. Pablo Picasso (famous artists) or Gordon Ramsay vs. Julia Child (famous cooks). This time, the theory is evolution. Of course Charles Darwin is known as the father of the Theory of Evolution, while Ash Ketchum lives in a world of Pokemon, where creatures evolve into more powerful Pokemon after they've grown strong enough.
The jokes are well-researched and brutal, covering everything from Pokemon puns ("...when I need a weak verse, I choose you!") to jokes about Professor Oak and Ash's mother (you know the ones). There's even a cameo from "the real Ash," as ERB co-creator EpicLLOYD shows up dressed as Ash from The Evil Dead.
There's no clear winner here, and as ERB states at the end of their videos, "Who won? Who's next? You decide!" The comment section on YouTube has pretty clearly cast their vote for Charles Darwin as the obvious winner due to his Professor Oak quip at the end of the rap. It didn't help that there were more than a handful of comments asking who Ash Ketchum was (he's the hero of the Pokemon animated series if any of you are wondering).
Just when you thought that the fun was over, the editing team over at ERB snuck in a little secret in the credits, in the 2:14 point of the video. For a split-second, you can see what seems to be a woman dressed as Wonder Woman pop up from the bottom of the screen before instantly vanishing. If I'm not mistaken, the woman is none other than Lilly Singh, known on YouTube as IISuperwomanII. That would make sense, as ERB has a history of collaborating with other YouTubers on their battles, so it looks like they might be teasing a Wonder Woman rap battle coming soon. Who will she be rapping against? My hope is Black Widow, but we'll just have to wait and see.
If you want a fun video with some smart, vulgar humor, go ahead and give this one a try. Unfortunately, compared to some of ERB's most recent battles, Ash vs. Darwin doesn't stand out quite as much as Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible. It's a solid inclusion to the ERB channel, but I wouldn't rank it among the all-star episodes just yet.
What rap battles do you think ERB should cover next? Let me know in the comments below!