(Not So) Random Song of the Day – ERB Edition – Part Eighteen

For an idea as to what we’re doing here, refer back to the introduction for more details.

After getting the worst of the worst out of the way, from this point onward the season… mostly just skates by on a whole lot of nothing, honestly. While the top four entries from this season manage to pull off just enough talented work that they partially redeem the entire season, the majority of the season is just a whole bunch of acceptable ideas that are only marginally better or worse than one another. Put another way, the bottom two rap battles are bad, the top four are great, and the middle six are basically only mildly varied from one another because they accomplish very little beyond sticking two people against one another and hoping for the best.

Rick Grimes vs. Walter White:

The Positive:

Peter’s weird voice works out well for him this time around, surprisingly enough, and he manages to put together a solid cadence while he’s rapping so his sequences end up being the best part of this battle rap, all in all. Also, the background track is pretty solid, and feels very reminiscent of a mid-nineties track that gives it more of a dramatic feeling than you’d expect from a post-apocalyptic redneck battling a teacher turned meth dealer.

The Negative:

The best ERB battle raps based around pop culture figures take concepts from the franchises the characters come from and apply them to legitimate battle raps that are engaging and funny, even if you aren’t a big fan of the franchises the characters come from. Consider something like the Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who battle, and how the battle raps make a lot of fun in-jokes for fans while also being really funny even if you have only a cursory knowledge of Back to the Future and Doctor Who, at best; it’s still clearly made for the fans, but it works well enough even if you don’t get the subject matter. The worst, on the other hand, rely entirely upon the source material to get the concept across, and if you’re not a fan, you’re boned.

This is definitely a battle rap that falls into the latter category.

We could point out that the voice Lloyd affects for this battle rap is distracting and not very good, or how his changes in cadence are also distracting and don’t help his case, but beyond those issues, the simple fact is, if you don’t know The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad this battle rap kind of sucks. It’s almost entirely reliant on viewers knowing both shows and being able to pick up the references, and speaking as someone who has a cursory knowledge of both, it felt like it was just a lazy “we’re doing this because these shows are popular now” battle rap than something the writers were interested in writing.

George Washington vs. William Wallace:

The Positive:

There are three obvious positives to this battle rap. First, the commitment to costume usage in this battle rap is amazing, to the point where they gave Peter nasty teeth because Washington had nasty teeth, and the commitment to the visuals here should absolutely be recognized. Second, Lloyd’s portrayal of William Wallace is pretty hilarious; the voice he affects here does a lot to make his portrayal feel appropriate, and he manages to do a good job rapping while also affecting the accent. Third, the second half of the battle rap is absolutely dense with information, and if you want to see how far Lloyd and Peter have come as rappers in their time doing ERB, this is a great example of their improvements on the mic.

The Negative:

Peter’s voice affectation for Washington feels weird at best and distracting at worst, which hurts his parts more than it should. The background music is also very dull, which is frustrating considering that Walter White and Rick Grimes got a fairly powerful backing beat, but these two got a beat that’s… kind of weak, honestly. Finally, the first half of the battle rap is full of a lot of odd pacing that distracts from the track, especially Lloyd’s intro and Peter’s “Stroke, Stroke” section; the fact that the second half of the track is fairly good manages to save the track somewhat, but a bit more consistency would’ve helped this track out a lot.

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