(Kangol is a hat company, specializing in the type of beret that Che Guevara wore. Guevara is wearing his iconic hat, and he states that he is doing so in a virile manner. He also says that he is feared.)
Ill rhyme-slayer from the '60s era!
(Guevara boasts about his rapping prowess. Even though he would be remembered for several decades to come, Guevara experienced his prime during the 1960s, where he and Castro were the head of a new socialist Cuban government and led several social and political reforms such as improved education systems and diplomatic relations with the Soviets.)
Revolting heavy metal rebel blood-spiller,
(Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary and guerilla warfare leader. His rebellious and hardened spirit would go on to inspire several heavy metal rock musicians who share a similar counterculture attitude.)
Me and my guerrillas are a squad of killers! (Hoo!)
(Guerrillas are a small independent force of soldiers, usually a force uprising against a government. Che Guevara was part of a guerrilla force that fought in the revolution against Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship in Cuba and killed many of Batista's forces, succeeding in overthrowing him. As a guerrilla, Guevara was famous for his willingness to kill all who stood in his way. "Guerrilla" also sounds like "gorilla", hence why Guevara chants in a way that resembles a gorilla noise.)
I'm known worldwide for my steely-eyed look.
(Guevara is most famously known around the world for his iconic photograph. He says it makes him look strong and determined.)
You're famous 'cause of Alan Moore's third best book!
(Guevara says Fawkes is only famous because his face was used for V's mask in the comic book V for Vendetta by British writer Alan Moore. Moore has written many other critically acclaimed stories including Batman: The Killing Joke and Watchmen, which were his top selling books of all time, so V isn't even his best one.)
All the children say, "We will be like Che!"
(In Cuba, schoolchildren are taught to chant: "Pioneers for communism, we will be like Che!" Guevara uses this line to show Guy Fawkes that his ideals are still remembered and taken to heart decades after his death, whereas Fawkes was executed and had his movement suppressed.)
Asthmatic, but I'll take your breath away. (Gasp!)
(Guevara was asthmatic. However, like asthma, he will leave Fawkes "breathless," or in awe. This could also serve a double meaning, as to take a man's breath away would kill him.)
You tried to rebel against James the first.
(Guy Fawkes sought to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Houses of Parliament and hopefully restore Catholic rule to England. However, he failed and was caught in the basement with the kegs of gunpowder.)
Here's a tip for your next plot: try to rehearse!
(Guevara suggests that before Fawkes attempts another plot, he should practice beforehand. Guevara mocks Fawkes for failing at his one and only chance to start a revolution.)
I've got my face on a magnet on your roommate's fridge.
(Guevara's face has been printed on many different products, including fridge magnets. Guevara brags about how ubiquitous his face is.)
Your head is on a spike up on London Bridge!
(In contrast to Guevara's universal visage, Guy Fawkes only has his head on a spike at London Bridge after being dismembered following his execution, as with most traitors at the time.)
You had one job, cabrón: to strike a matchstick!
(Fawkes was assigned to wait with the explosives and strike the match that would ignite them but was caught several days before the explosives were to be ignited. Guevara mocks Fawkes for failing at such a simple task as striking a match, characterising him as a Cabrón, meaning 'dumbass' in Spanish. The first part of the line could also be a reference to the "You Had One Job" meme.)
Got caught with a fuse like your bars: not lit!
(Guevara continues to mock Fawkes for his failure to ignite the explosives. "Bars" are a segment of a musical composition defined by vertical lines, and something that is "lit" is exciting. Like the fuse that he failed to light, Guevara claims that Fawkes' bars are unexciting.)
You should have stayed anonymous, Epic Fail Guy.
(Anonymous is a hacker collective represented by the mask of Guy Fawkes worn by V from the aforementioned graphic novel, popularized by the 2005 film adaptation. Epic Fail Guy is an internet meme of a stick figure wearing the Guy Fawkes mask failing at some task. Guevara is suggesting that Fawkes shouldn't have revealed his identity during interrogation, as well as confessing the co-conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot, effectively ending the assassination attempt. Guevara may also be demeaning Fawkes by referring to him as an internet meme, as opposed to an actual revolutionary, or he may be saying that Fawkes revealing himself was an "epic fail".)
Treat this battle like the gallows, and take another dive.
(When Guy Fawkes was being led to the gallows to be hung for his attempted bombing, he jumped off the ladder and broke his neck, sparing him from an agonizing death by strangulation. To "take a dive" means to intentionally lose a competition, in this case, the rap battle. Guevara suggests that Fawkes gives up the battle before he is humiliated.)
(Guevara, a communist, was an important figure of the Cuban Revolution, which made Cuba a one-party communist state. Fawkes is saying that it must suck for him to be a communist, for reasons mentioned in the following lines.)
That your face has been cheapened, weakened, besmirched,
(Guevara's face has become very iconic, but for all the wrong reasons, according to Fawkes, in the process pointing out the flaws in Guevara's line about his face on a magnet.)
Being plastered on posters, coasters, and shirts,
(Guevara's face appears on much merchandise such as motivational posters and T-shirts, which are commonly bought by Americans with left-leaning views.)
Making capitalists rich off of you on merch!
(The ideology of communism is very opposed to capitalism. Guevara himself blamed capitalism for the poverty he saw during his trip through South America. Ironically, despite being a communist hero, Guevara appears on the previously mentioned merchandise, making capitalists profit off of his image, as represented by J. P. Morgan.)
Right, I'm a pious man, and I fight for the Lord!
(Fawkes was a devout Catholic in a time when England was Protestant, which lead to him attempting to carry out his infamous plot to kill the king and replace him with a Catholic alternative. In contrast, Guevara was an atheist.)
I would cut you, but I don't want your sweat on my sword!
(In communist countries, religions are forbidden as they may contain anti-communism messages. Seeing a religiously oppressive figure like Guevara, Fawkes would like to murder him. Fawkes claims the only reason he wouldn't cut Guevara is because his sword would get dirty from Guevara's sweat.)
I was tortured until I could hardly sign my name,
(When Guy Fawkes was captured, he was tortured until he gave up the names of his co-conspirators. By the end of the torture, he was in so much pain that his signature was undecipherable.)
And listening to you felt pretty much the same!
(Fawkes finds listening to Guevara's raps to be just as terrible as being tortured.)
(Ooh!) Face it, Ernesto: you're Castro, but less so!
(Ernesto is Guevara's real name. Fidel Castro was the right-hand man of Guevara during the Cuban Revolution. He became the President of Cuba, staying for nearly 50 years, and Guevara was only the one controlling the government behind-the-scenes.)
He's Cuba Commander, you're more of the Destro!
("Cuba Commander" is a reference to Cobra Commander, the main villain of the G.I Joe: A Real American Hero series of toys. Destro is a mercenary hired by Cobra Commander to battle the Joes. Fawkes compares Guevara to Destro, that he is a subordinate to the more successful Castro like how Destro is subordinate to Cobra Commander.)
Revolt all you want, I don't give two Guy Fawkes!
(To "give two fucks" about something means to care about it. Fawkes is making a pun on his name and saying he is apathetic to Guevara's revolutions. During this line, Guy Fawkes is showing the V sign, which simultaneously means the rude British gesture equivalent of giving someone the middle finger, the number 2 in the line, the letter V from V for Vendetta, as well as the clock hand positions at 11:05, referencing 11/5 — the day the Gunpowder Plot took place.)
But look at Venezuela: what you're fighting for sucks!
(Communism is a variety of socialism and the two terms are often used interchangeably. Venezuela is currently lead by Nicolás Maduro, a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. As a result of the socialist president's leadership, Venezuela is going through hyperinflation and food shortages, from which Venezuelans aren't able to afford basic needs. Guevara fought for communism in Cuba and Fawkes is insulting what Guevara fought for by referencing the situation in Venezuela.)
Sucks? Guy, you died for the Catholics:
(Guy Fawkes' role in the Gunpowder Plot mainly revolved around restoring Catholic rule to the Protestant kingdom. Guevara responds to Fawkes's religious beliefs, referring to both his name and how Fawkes's name can be used as a reference to any male individual, by pointing out the Catholics weren't good people themselves, such as how they supported the genocide of Cuba's native cultures during its colonization period.)
A group with a bad "touching little boys" habit!
(Catholic priests are stereotyped as being homosexual pedophiles. The use of 'suck' in the previous line could be interpreted as a reference to fellatio.)
And this porn star pilgrim look, what's up with that?
(Guevara claims Fawkes’ outfit makes him look like someone who is dressing up as a pilgrim in a pornographic film due to how ridiculous it looks.)
It's more like V for very bad hat!
(Yet another reference to V for Vendetta. Guevara is insulting Fawkes' hat.)
Oh! What's the Fawkes say now?
(A pun on the popular song "What Does the Fox Say?" by the Norwegian comedic group Ylvis, which is directly referenced in the next line by Fawkes. Moreover, Guevara mocks Fawkes again by comparing him to a low-brow internet meme.)
(Fawkes yelps in pain as he clutches his groin. The lyrics of the song "What Does the Fox Say?" are as the title implies, painting the fox as a mysterious creature and questioning what the animal sounds like. The joke therein is that the chorus offers several possible answers to the question which do not remotely sound like an actual fox. The sound Guy Fawkes makes here would thus fit in the song as one of the chorus lines.)
When they cut your junk out!
(Guy Fawkes was supposed to have his testicles cut off and be disemboweled before being hung for his punishment, but he leapt off the platform before they could carry any of it out. The sounds made by Fawkes can be interpreted as an expression of the pain that would have occurred while having his testes removed.)
I'm the hardest Marxist ever graced a banknote!
(Che Guevara was a dedicated Marxist Revolutionary. The Cuban financial currency is Peso, where Guevara's iconic photograph was used on the Cuban 3 peso banknote.)
You're an error-prone terrorist! Penny for the scapegoat!
(In reality, Guy Fawkes had a very small part to play in the Gunpowder Plot. His notoriety results simply from the fact that he was the man who was caught red-handed in the act. The second part of the line refers to the phrase "penny for the Guy," one which beggar children carrying effigies of Fawkes would utter on Guy Fawkes Night. A scapegoat is a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings of others, which describes Fawkes' small role in a plot not even masterminded by him. The word "penny" is also used to contrast against the "banknote" referred to in the previous line.)
Don't try to boast 'bout your banknotes with Guido!
(Fawkes fought for the Spanish during the Eighty Years' War, during which he went by the name Guido.)
You muddled your economy like mint in a mojito!
(Guevara served as Finance Minister and President of the National Bank of Cuba. His programs were unsuccessful, and lead to a rapid drop in productivity and a rapid rise in absenteeism. A mojito is a type of cocktail from Cuba. It's required to lightly muddle the mint, but doing it too much would ruin it, just as Guevara's attempts to create a purely communist society was highly negative. Mint also meant coinage factory, continuing Guevara's reference to money.)
This very battle disproves your communist initiative:
(Fawkes says that the rap battle proves Guevara isn't a true communist as he will explain in the next line.)
These rhyme skills are not evenly distributed!
(The idea of communism is that wealth and goods are "evenly distributed" to everyone. Fawkes is saying that this battle, on the other hand, distributes much better rhymes to Fawkes. This could also reference on how Guevara has 4 more lines than Fawkes.)
(Augh!) I'm Catholic, I've got Mass when I'm rapping!
(Mass can refer to how heavy something is or the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist. By saying this, Fawkes is saying that his raps are hard-hitting.)
You're an ump-Che! That's Bay of Pigs Latin!
(The Bay of Pigs is a location in Cuba where a failed invasion by CIA-backed anti-Communists took place in 1961. Pig Latin is a form of code spoken by taking the first consonant in a word, moving it to the end and adding an "ay" at the end. "Chump" thus becomes "ump-Che" in Pig Latin, so Fawkes is calling Guevara a chump while making a play on his name. This could also reference on how Catholic priests were required to learn Latin.)
After what just happened, you should retire!
(Fawkes claims Guevara should just retire after being humiliated.)
Is it the 5th of November? 'Cause I'm on fire!
(The 5th of November, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, was the night on which Guy Fawkes tried to carry out the Gunpowder Plot to assassinate King James I, which eventually failed. To celebrate the King's escape, English people typically burn bonfires, sometimes with a effigy of Guy Fawkes in the fire. If someone is "on fire", it means that they're excelling on what they're doing.)
Face facts, Ernesto: you're like Castro, but less so!
(This lyric is what developed into "Face it, Ernesto: you're Castro, but less so!")
He was the Cuba Commander, and you, you're basically Destro!
(This lyric is what developed into "He's Cuba Commander, you're more of the Destro!")
As a socalist, I imagine it must hurt
(This lyric is what developed into "As a communist, it must really hurt.")
Revolt all you want, I don't give two Guy Fucks!
(This lyric is what developed into "Revolt all you want, I don't give two Guy Fawkes!")
But ask Venezuela: what you're fighting for sucks!
(This lyric is what developed into "But look at Venezuela: what you're fighting for sucks!")