|Epic Rap Battles of History|
The series' logo and YouTube avatar
|First released||September 26, 2010|
|Latest release||December 7, 2018|
|Number of episodes||71 (main series)|
2 (spin-off series)
Epic Rap Battles of History, officially shortened to ERB or ERBoH, is a YouTube video series created by Peter Shukoff (Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (EpicLLOYD). The series features famous historical and pop culture figures, both fictional and non-fictional, rapping against one another. Every battle, in some way, has a connection that links the figures used.
ERB also has a satire spin-off parody, named Flash in the Pan Hip Hop Conflicts of Nowadays, which has a lower production cost than the original main series.
History of the series
Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist first met freestyling on a porch in Chicago. Ahlquist recruited Shukoff to join the improv comedy group Mission IMPROVable, which he helped found at the University of Massachusetts and later expanded across the country.
The idea for historical figures rapping against each other was conceived by Ahlquist, who gave the idea to Shukoff (the two later created a demo track: Michael J. Fox vs Chucky) as an improvised show, which was titled "Check One Two", as the two worked on improvisation skits, along with Zach Sherwin. They were met with lots of difficulty at first and decided that it would fare much better as a YouTube series than an improv show.
The first three rap battles were each shot on a $50 budget. John Lennon vs Bill O'Reilly was the first official rap battle of the series, and it was uploaded on September 22nd, 2010, under the title "Bill O'Reilly Flips Out on John Lennon". The official video was released on September 26th, 2010. The series' second installment, Darth Vader vs Hitler, skyrocketed the series' popularity, as well as the viewers for Nice Peter's and EpicLLOYD's channels. Einstein vs Stephen Hawking, which is the most viewed battle of Season 1, was the first one to feature recurring crew member Zach Sherwin.
After fifteen battles, the series ended its first season with "The Final Battle: Nice Peter vs EpicLLOYD", which announced that there would be a Season 2 and showed a sneak peek of the Mario Brothers, King Henry VIII (who was later scrapped), Ludwig van Beethoven (who would not be reused for the season), and Master Chief.
A preview of Adolf Hitler frozen in carbonite was uploaded on November 18th, 2011, and the first battle of Season 2, Hitler vs Vader 2, premiered on December 8th, 2011, from ERB's own dedicated YouTube channel. The season consisted of eighteen battles, released in sets of six. The first six were released a month apart, and it was then announced that the following sets of battles would come out once every two weeks. The season ended with Rasputin vs Stalin on April 22nd, 2013.
In 2015, the series went on its first tour.
Season 6 was announced during a live performance at Anime Midwest by Nice Peter on July 6th, 2018. It was later announced that it would premiere in spring of 2019, with the bonus battle Elon Musk vs Mark Zuckerberg preceding it on December 7th, 2018.
- Main article: List of Epic Rap Battles of History episodes
Awards and nominations
|2013||3rd Streamy Awards||Best Writing: Comedy||Nominated||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist|
|Best Online Musician||Won||Peter Shukoff|
|Best Original Song||Won||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist (Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates)|
|Best Music Series||Won||Epic Rap Battles of History|
|Best Use of Fashion & Design||Won||Mary Doodles|
|1st YouTube Music Awards||Video of the Year||Nominated||Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney|
|Artist of the Year||Nominated||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist|
|2014||4th Streamy Awards|
|Best Editing||Nominated||Andrew Sherman, Ryan Moulton, Daniel Turcan, and Nice Peter|
|Best Collaboration||Nominated||Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD, and Snoop Dogg|
|Best Writing||Won||Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD, Zach Sherwin, Dante Cimadamore, and Mike Betette|
|Best Music Video||Won||Goku vs Superman|
|Best Use of Costume Design||Won||Sulai Lopez|
|2015||26th Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Digital Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History|
|5th Streamy Awards|
|Best Collaboration||Won||Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD, Grace Helbig, and Hannah Hart|
|Best Use of Costume Design||Won||Sulai Lopez|
|Best Editing||Won||Andrew Sherman, Ryan Moulton, Daniel Turcan, and Peter Shukoff|
|Best Writing||Nominated||Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Zach Sherwin, Dante Cimadamore, and Mike Betette|
|2016||27th Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Digital Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History|
|68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short Form Variety Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History|
|6th Streamy Awards|
|Best Collaboration||Nominated||Nice Peter, EpicLLOYD, Meghan Tonjes, Mike Betette, and Zach Sherwin|
|Best Use of Costume Design||Nominated||Sulai Lopez|
|Best Editing||Nominated||Nice Peter, Andrew Sherman, Ryan Moulton, Josh Best, and Javi Sánchez-Blanco|
|Best Writing||Nominated||EpicLLOYD, Nice Peter, Zach Sherwin, Dante Cimadamore, and Mike Betette|
|2017||28th Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Digital Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History (Season 5)|
|21st Annual Webby Awards||Comedy: Individual Short or Episode (Film & Video)||Nominated||Wonder Woman vs Stevie Wonder (Maker Studios, now Disney Digital)|
|69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short Form Variety Series||Nominated||Epic Rap Battles of History|
- There have been a total of 28 battles with Peter and Lloyd as the main actors and rappers.
- The series was mentioned by Walt Disney in Jim Henson vs Stan Lee, referencing the Walt Disney Company buying Maker Studios (now Disney Digital), which used to own the ERB franchise.