OUR VIEW: Epic Rap Battles of History in 2019, as we rate them (Part 2)

Epic Rap Battles of History ERB
The December 18 release of "Oppenheimer vs. Thanos" became the last release of 2019. (ERB/YouTube photo)

On Monday, the editorial team of Heartland Newsfeed started our countdown of the best releases of 2019 from Epic Rap Battles of History. We conclude our countdown with the top five releases from ERB this year.

5. Mother Teresa vs. Sigmund Freud

Mother Teresa vs Sigmund Freud. Epic Rap Battles of History

This September release featured Cara Francis as Mother Teresa and Nice Peter as Sigmund Freud in this rap battle.

Mother Teresa
For short call me M.T.
I’m a Missionary of Charity M.C.
A one woman Nun-DMC
-- Mother Teresa

Missionaries of Charity is a Catholic religious congregation founded by Mother Teresa in 1950 based in India and comprises of over 5,300 members, including 4,500 religious sisters. The Nun-DMC reference is a religious spin on rap group Run-DMC, which released chart-topping hits such as “It’s Tricky” and their collaboration with Aerosmith on “Walk This Way”.

I got a Peace Prize
But I’m not friendly
You’re 0 for 13 as a nominee
-- Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.” She refused the ceremonial banquet held for honorees and requested the then-$192,000 cost for the event be donated to the poor in India. Freud was nominated 12 times for the Medicine Prize and once for the Literature Prize, the earliest nomination being in 1915. Albert Einstein, who won the Physics Prize in 1921, was notable for opposing Freud’s Medicine Prize nomination in 1928.

I’m here to crack the mind behind
The mom-sex complex
-- Mother Teresa

This part could be in reference to several aspects of Freud’s work, perhaps that of seduction theory and psychosexual development.

I got mouth cancer
Wasn’t feeling so hot
Had the Doc put me down
With a morphine shot
Thank imaginary God
I wasn’t in one of your beds
You’d have just sprinkled
Magic water on my forehead
-- Sigmund Freud

Freud was critical of religion, to the point of calling God an illusion. Freud wrote seven books on the matter between 1907 and 1931.

You took credit
That you didn’t deserve
You’re the fakest sister act
Since Whoopi Goldberg
-- Sigmund Freud

Freud’s jab at Mother Teresa is in fact a jab at Whoopi Goldberg’s role in the Sister Act films released in 1992 and 1993. Goldberg played lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier in the first film and was relocated to a Catholic church in California for protection under the alias of Sister Mary Clarence. During her time in the convent, she was able to mold the choir into an ensemble that would become the envy the community and brought forth much attention.

In the 1993 sequel, Goldberg returned to her role as Deloris, who has since moved on to becoming a Las Vegas performer, and was surprised by a visit by her nun friends from the convent. She was asked to return under her nun guise to teach music to teens at a troubled school in hopes to keep it from closing at the hands of a callous and crooked administrator.

The classic film was made into a musical, starting in 2009. There’s been speculation of a third film, as well as a revamped musical.

I’d gotta say Sigmund
You’re Freudian slipping
I built mad missions
In my Savior’s name
All you built was a
Mad tolerance for cocaine
-- Mother Teresa

The “Freudian slip” is considered an unintentional error in speech, memory or physical action resulting from the interference of an unconscious subdued wish or internal train of thought. Also known as parapraxis, this revealing of subconscious feelings is considered part of classical psychoanalysis.

Freud was an early user and proponent of the use of cocaine while a medical researcher, who considered it a cure for many physical and mental health issues.

A lot of the other lines were quite snooze-worthy and forgettable, but it impressed enough to consider this part of our top five.

4. Ronald McDonald vs. Burger King

Ronald McDonald vs The Burger King. Epic Rap Battles of History

This June release featured Nice Peter as the face of McDonald’s, EpicLLOYD as the face of Burger King and series producer Atul Singh as an abandoned kid, with a guest appearance of MC Goldiloxx as Wendy, the red-headed face of Wendy’s.

You can’t do fast food
Half as good as I do
Your pink slime meat
Turns my asshole
To a drive through

You’re played out
Like a Chuck E. Cheese token
Your style’s like
Your ice cream machines
-- Burger King

There’s been many allegations that McDonald’s burgers and chicken nuggets contain pink slime. The diarrhea reference — let’s be truthful — it applies to pretty much every major fast-food chain.

The line regarding McDonald’s broken ice cream machines — well, that’s pretty much true the majority of the time.

Ask Rick and Morty
Who’s the lyrical boss
I’ve got lines for days
Call me Szechuan sauce
-- Ronald McDonald

Let’s talk about the Szechuan sauce first. It is a condiment better used for the chain’s Chicken McNuggets, which launched in summer 1998 in time for the Disney movie release of Mulan. It was treated as a limited-time item, ultimately leading to some outrage from consumers when they ran out.

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The popular condiment became a talking point in the season opener of the third season of the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty, titled “The Rickshank Rickdemption“, which initially aired on April 1, 2017.

McDonald's Szechuan Sauce - Rick And Morty

There are people who are selling the iconic packets of sauce for as much as $3,000. (Freshness and taste may be disputable.)

I’m fast food Eminem
You’re Machine Gun Kelly
-- Ronald McDonald

While the rest of the verse focuses more on key brand rivalries like Coke vs. Pepsi, the key brand rivalry McDonald compares McDonald’s and Burger King to is the rap battle between Marshall “Eminem” Mathers and Machine Gun Kelly, which sparked in August 2018 in the single “Not Alike” from his Kamikaze album. MGK released “Rap Devil” a month later. Ronny J was a producer on both tracks. Eminem released a single “Killshot” 11 days following the MGK release. It is not certain if this rap battle continues, as it seems that rapper, former America’s Got Talent host and The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon is desperately trying to get Em’s attention.

You spooky-ass clown
You’re so creepy, it’s insane
You look like you just
Ate someone’s brother
In a storm drain
-- Burger King

Obvious Pennywise reference. (Also see later in this countdown.)

Where’s the beef?

Oh shoot -- here comes Wendy to tear Ronnie and the King to shreds.

I’m the fast food Queen
Mean with a tweet sesh
Leave opponents frozen
Cause I always keep my beef
-- Wendy

Just go to Twitter. Whoever manages their social media is savage as F.

3. Guy Fawkes vs. Che Guevara

Guy Fawkes vs Che Guevara. Epic Rap Battles of History.

This May release featured Nice Peter as Fawkes and Rob Rico as Guevara. This one isn’t even close -- we all agree that Fawkes took this battle, because Guevara’s bars “weren’t lit.” Plus, we’ve all watched V for Vendetta.

As a communist, it must really hurt
That your face has been cheapened, weakened, besmirched
Being plastered on posters, coasters and shirts
Making capitalists rich off of you on merch
-- Guy Fawkes

Guevara was a known opponent of capitalism, which was part of the communist and socialist political ideologies.

This very battle disproves
Your communist initiative
These rhyme skills are not
Evenly distributed

Communism and socialism in their own ways force the ideology of even distribution of money and resources. Its utilization in this rap battle possibly reveals there was better writing for Fawkes’ raps than there was for Guevara’s.

T1. The Joker vs. Pennywise

The Joker vs Pennywise. Epic Rap Battles Of History

This November release featured another Nice Peter (as The Joker) and EpicLLOYD (as Pennywise) appearance.

Before you go all nuts on this decision, our editorial board came to a split decision, which led to a tie for first. There wasn’t anything that could declare this battle or its co-victor any differently.

In my first appearance,
The Bat was supposed to slay me
But I can’t be killed
That’s why they cast
A Phoenix to play me
-- The Joker

The first part is open to interpretation. If you follow the comic books, the Dark Knight killed off The Joker in a 1988 issue without realizing it, according to a former series writer, Grant Morrison, in a 2013 interview. If you pay attention to the TV shows and movies, then maybe this assumption is true.

The Phoenix reference is directed to actor Joaquin Phoenix, who played the iconic villain in the Warner Bros. Studios film Joker, which was released in October.

Jack Nicholson played you just fine
But lately, the casting’s declined
Jared Leto came out trying to look
Like he was Tekashi 6ix9ine
-- Pennywise

Pennywise goes through some of the actors who have played the iconic role. Perhaps this is a jab as the so-called “decline” in casting since Heath Ledger was cast into the role in 2008 prior to his death, including that of Leto’s incarnation in the film Suicide Squad.

You lost to a turtle
That wasn’t even a ninja
-- The Joker

A clear reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also, if you read original novel, you would know Pennywise was defeated by a giant turtle. And it didn’t need karate, pizza or Master Splinter to defeat the villainous clown.

When I flow, I got Mark Ham
With ill zingers
I steal the show like Bob Kane
Stole from Bill Finger
-- The Joker

Mark Hamill, who was iconic in the Star Wars franchise, voiced the Clown Prince of Crime for the animated TV series which launched in 1992. He also voiced many other Batman projects until his alleged retirement from the role in 2011. Hamill returned briefly to voice the role in the 2016 iconic story “The Killing Joke”, marking 25 years voicing the role.

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Bob Kane and Bill Finger, along with Jerry Robinson, co-created the character known as The Joker. The Joker appeared in the first issue of the Batman comic book on April 25, 1940.

Pennywise likes the devil
We have so much fun together
But no one’s dying to play with Joker
Except for maybe Heath Ledger
-- Pennywise

Pennywise pokes fun at Ledger, despite the fact he won an Academy Award after he died from an apparent suicide. Too soon, guys. Too damn soon.

That purple suit
Is something you
Should only see Steve Harvey in
-- Pennywise

Have you ever seen Steve Harvey’s wardrobe from back in the day? Harvey did own a purple suit — almost in the same fashion as The Joker’s.

Insert a Tim Curry reference, who played the original Pennywise.

Insert another reference for author H.P. Lovecraft and Cesar Romero, who played the original Joker in the original TV series which debuted in 1966.

T1. J. Robert Oppenheimer vs. Thanos

Thanos vs J Robert Oppenheimer. Epic Rap Battles of History

The final release of 2019, which was released on December 18, features Nice Peter as Oppenheimer and EpicLLOYD as Thanos.

I am inevitable, immeasurable, inexorable, monstrous
With bars weighing on you
Harder than your
Haunting guilty conscience
-- Thanos

Spoiler alert if you never got to watch Avengers: Endgame: Thanos loses the Infinity Stones to Iron Man. “I am inevitable.” “And I am Iron Man.”

I Am Iron Man Snap Scene - AVENGERS 4: ENDGAME (2019) Movie Clip

Oppenheimer also had a guilty conscience regarding the Manhattan Project, which led to the bomb attacks on Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Seems you started off a chemist
And on your world
You were a prodigy
Well, that makes sense
Cause your rhymes are only
Hot periodically
-- Thanos

Goes through Oppenheimer’s science background. Insert obvious periodic table reference.

And I’m offing Oppenheimer
Like I did to my daughter
-- Thanos

Another spoiler alert: Thanos kills his daughter Gamora in exchange for the Soul Stone in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War.

Gamora's Death Scene - Avengers Infinity War (2018) Movie Clip HD [1080p 50FPS]

Listening to you
Took everything I have left
After your raps
I am become deaf
You need an Iron Man
For that wrinkly ass skin
And that butt, butt
Butt, butt, butt, butt chin
-- Oppenheimer

“I am become deaf” is a play on a quote Oppenheimer said “I am become death”.

J. Robert Oppenheimer: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Oppenheimer talks about Thanos’ hideous look, referring to the fact he would need a suit similar to Iron Man’s to cover up his obvious flaws.

Meanwhile I’ve mastered the atom
More than any man alive
Now I’m here to split
U like 2 and 3 from 5
-- Oppenheimer

Reference to Uranium-235, which was used in the atomic bomb.

It must leave you enraged
When you compare our talents
Because in this battle
There is no balance
-- Oppenheimer

Infinity War reference regarding Thanos and “perfectly balanced”.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) - Perfectly Balanced

You wanna talk about death?
How about the one that
Looked at you and swiped left
-- Oppenheimer

If you watched Infinity War, you would know that Thanos intended to kill off half the universe in order to woo a feminine manifestation of death, Lady Death. It’s an odd attempt at a courtship, but Thanos was ultimately rejected in the end.

I’m the destroyer of worlds
You got your nuts handed to you
By a Squirrel Girl
We’re in the Endgame now
Tinky Winky
I’ll finish this like Ant-Man
All up in your stinky
Anyone who believes that
“Thanos did nothing wrong” crap
Has obviously never heard you rap
Oh snap
-- Oppenheimer

See earlier remarks regarding “I am become death”. Applies to “I’m the destroyer of worlds” as well.

The Squirrel Girl reference comes from a 2005 special two-story holiday issue — “Eggnog, Toilet Paper, & Peace on Earth”, which shows the hero charging to battle against Thanos; and “Days of X-Mas Past”, where Thanos was defeated, but nothing was revealed as to how Squirrel Girl defeated him. It’s been viewed by some as a parody and not canon to the main Marvel Universe, while others disagree.

Reference to Avengers: Endgame.

Reference to Tinky Winky, a character in the children’s series Teletubbies.

Reference to Ant-Man, a character within the Marvel Universe? But seriously, why does Paul Rudd’s character smell like dookie?

Reference to the worse meme in the 2010s, not to mention the worse meme of 2018 AND 2019. Thanos is a criminal and should be treated like one.

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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dogs Sparky and Buster.

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