For an idea as to what we’re doing here, refer back to the introduction for more details.
We’re in the final four here, and while there was a lot of nothing going on in the middle of these rankings, the top four tracks from this season easily rival the quality of any competing seasons, albeit for much different reasons from one another. The two we have today probably could’ve both been winners on their own merits, which says a lot about the quality of the final two videos for this season, as these two are generally some of the better battles released from ERB overall. It’s only some minor issues that hold these battles back from getting into the top two; let’s jump in and see what ranked and why for today:
Cleopatra vs Marilyn Monroe
The first major positive out of this battle is that ERB found not one, but two technically solid female rappers for this battle, in Kimmy Gatewood and Angela Trimbur, which, given ERB’s track record up to this point, wasn’t expected, and was very welcome. Further, holy shit this battle is fucking NASTY, and while you probably don’t want that all the time, when it does happen it’s glorious. Potshots about incest, illiteracy, miscarriages and crabs are thrown around with abandon here, and not only are the battle raps historically accurate, but also mean as shit. This is an amazing piece of work that shows what ERB can do when everything is firing on all cylinders, especially when they take people who are, well, broken as shit, and it’s amazing in its depth and raw audacity.
Cleopatra no-sells a lot of the battle (yawning about most of Marilyn Monroe’s insults), while Marilyn heavily sells for Cleopatra, and while some of that makes sense (Cleopatra probably doesn’t care about being called a whore), nobody wants to watch someone John Cena their opponent because it’s not fun. Also, while the structure of the battle makes logical sense to a point, letting Marilyn have the first and last word is odd, though Cleopatra had the stronger battle raps so it kind of off-sets that a bit, if nothing else. It doesn’t make it less weird though, given that it’s never happened before or since.
Doc Brown vs Doctor Who
THIS BATTLE YOU GUYS.
Zach Sherwin is a spot-on Doc Brown, Lloyd’s five second cameo as Marty is perfect, and Peter and Watsky pull off their respective Doctors with vigor. Everything here works beautifully, from the costumes to the visual change in the Tardis between Doctors to the repeating end sequence that feeds back into the beginning of the video and beyond. There’s just a lot to love here, and fans of either or both franchises will basically clap like a giddy schoolkid watching for the first or even the hundredth time.
The obvious flaw, of course, is that if you aren’t a fan of either it only works so well. It’s one thing when you’re pitting historical figures against either each other or against fictional characters; those battles work because you generally know who Napoleon is, even if you have no context for his opponent in this example. Further, it also bears noting that they aren’t really battling about anything; that is, a lot of the Doctor’s (both of them) raps are about… well, himself, while Doc Brown mostly talks about how much Doctor Who sucks and can’t get laid. It could be more focused, is the point, and while that doesn’t hurt a lot, it does keep this from unseating either of the top two battles from this season.