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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about historical and literary characters in humorous videos. Subtitles accompany each clip and can help kids practice reading skills. They can express their views by posting comments and voting on battles. The raps also provide some exposure to musical elements such as rhythm. Although the battles are over-the-top and often feature inappropriate (and sometimes mean) language, a fair amount of the information is accurate. Epic Rap Battles of History's videos do a good job of hitting some historical highlights for each character, but the language may be a deal breaker for parents.
Song-based videos feature some historical characters kids may have come across in class.
Violence & Scariness
Humorous, yet somewhat violent, images, such as people getting shot. Mentions of physical violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References of sexual diseases and acts in some videos, but videos don't show anything graphic.
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Swearing isn't off-limits; some characters call each other "bitch" and say "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
CDs, T-shirts, other items sold in the Shop section; some videos preceded by ads.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pot, alcohol are mentioned but not focused on.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Epic Rap Battles of History is a video site that features historic and fictional characters facing off against each other in lyrical duels. Swearing is definitely not off-limits, and words such as "bitch" and "f--k" are used in varying degrees to insult rival characters. There are mentions of violence and some violent images, such as people getting shot, but these are done in humorous ways to amuse viewers. Characters sometimes reference sexual acts and sexual diseases, but nothing graphic is shown. Smoking marijuana and drinking are referenced as well but not focused upon. CDs, T-shirts, and other merchandise is sold on the site, and some videos are preceded by ads. Kids don't have to register to watch the site's videos but can be exposed to stranger's comments via social media through the site's About and Forum pages.
Is It Any Good?
The videos on Epic Rap Battles of History aren't exclusively about the past -- some modern-day characters, such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, along with literary characters, pop up fairly frequently. However, kids will see plenty of famous figures they may be familiar with, ranging from Bonnie and Clyde to George Washington and Edgar Allen Poe.
They'll also, unfortunately, see some things parents may not be crazy about, including shooting, suicide (thanks to Romeo and Juliet), swearing, and some in-jest (yet still potentially offensive) cracks about race, culture, and sexual orientation. The epic rap battles are likely to be a hit with kids; many are funny, and they often feature interesting character combinations. However, parents who are considering using the battles to supplement learning may want to watch videos with their kids -- or beforehand -- to mitigate some of the questionable content.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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