Epic Rap Battles of History

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Epic Rap Battles of History Website Poster Image
Clips will make kids laugh; parents may not find them funny.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

Song-based videos feature some historical characters kids may have come across in class.

Violence

Humorous, yet somewhat violent, images, such as people getting shot. Mentions of physical violence.

Sex

References of sexual diseases and acts in some videos, but videos don't show anything graphic.

Language

Swearing isn't off-limits; some characters call each other "bitch" and say "f--k."

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 year old Written bytonyhutchins July 18, 2015

Epic Rap Battles teaches kids about history

See past the format. While the "rap battles" thing is a little goofy, the important thing is whether or not our kids know who, say, Isaac Newton is a... Continue reading
Adult Written byJaxon H. August 17, 2016

Very entertaining and factional

To be honest, ERB isnt really appropriate for kids. There is a TON of swearing in it, especially when it comes to characters such as Deadpool. It can get very,... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byhuman1371 March 19, 2015

I'm Sorry If I Sound Like One Of Those People

I warned you in the title. Look, I know it's shocking to parents, but with the popularity of Youtube and the fact that most people watch videos and tv show... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKyrabfftwer March 1, 2015

Good but bad language

sometimes it can be insulting

What's it about?

EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY is based on a YouTube series created by Peter Shukoff (who also refers to himself as Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist in 2010. Short videos feature rap-based fights, often between historical figures and modern-day or fictional characters. Many of the videos feature prominent YouTube stars; celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, who played Moses in a rap battle against Santa Claus, also have made appearances.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how much time you should spend watching TV and videos online, even if you're viewing something educational. What limits can your family set to ensure your child also is enjoying other activities?

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  • The site features fictionalized conversations and songs involving some real-life historical characters. Talk about which aspects of a video are real and which are made up. How can you tell the difference?

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  • Videos on the site show characters arguing. It's all done in jest, but are there other ways they could express their views? Talk to your child about constructive criticism and expressing yourself in a positive way.

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Website details

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