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The series as a whole and the general concept are brilliant. The blend of history with clever allusions, great guest stars, and well-written raps make most of the videos a joy to listen to. There are a few missteps here and there, but on a whole, the entire production is a beautiful example of how you can bring history to people and make it entertaining and provide a platform on which people can do their own research...
...for the guys.
For the women rappers, though, it's a litany of Slut Shaming and generally lower effort. Sarah Palin vs. Lady Gaga didn't have much of the former, granted, but it was easily one of the weakest in the entire series. Marilyn Monroe vs. Cleopatra ramped up the technical aspects, but ended up being a shallow condemnation of the sexual habits they would have been proud of. Maybe if they'd accused each other of not having enough sex, it would have worked, but even then the raps didn't speak much to their other accomplishments and features. It was all about sex, and on top of that, it was about how they had sex, so they're bad. Even though the other person also had lots of sex. Joan of Arc vs. Miley Cyrus was better, and it's possible that Joan of Arc wouldn't have approved of Miley's current image, but it's highly doubtful that Miley would insult Joan of Arc for crossdressing. The raps for the women just seem really problematic in general, and should be held to the same standards as the guys.
Is this saying I hate the series? Absolutely not. I love most of the raps, and there are good bits and lyrics even in the lady rap battles. It just really stings that the women of history are treated with the same lazy half-assedness that they tend to receive in real life.
It might be a fault in history as much as the rap. Dressing like a man is one of the things that Joan of Arc was famous for, and it was even one of the charges brought against her when she was killed. It was a pretty big deal, sure Miley wouldn't have a go at it in real life but sometimes in Epic Rap Battles they make jabs that are basically there so that they can get in a bit of a person's history that they wouldn't fit in that person's own section.
I hadn't thought about it, but the not-enough angle would have worked a lot better with Cleopatra and Marilyn than what they want for. They both wrapped guys around their fingers.
The thing with Cleopatra and Monroe is that, while they were certainly insulting each other's sexual habits, they weren't all too ashamed of their own. Cleopatra even begins her second verse talking about how she slept with Marlon Brando and the Kennedys. Even then, that's really the only time they even address any of the sexual insults, so I don't really get where you're getting the "They had sex, so they're bad."
As in real rap battles, all beats are off, not just things that person would have problems with, as seen with many match ups like Gandhi vs MLK.
"Cleopatra even begins her second verse talking about how she slept with Marlon Brando and the Kennedys"
That is certainly something to brag about, considering it would require her to invent time travel or discover the secret to immortality.
Or did you mean Marilyn Monroe?
Yes, I did, I don't know how I messed that up.
This whole review just reeks of political correctness gone mad; putting aside the fact that these are rap battles and pretty much anything goes, none of the 'arguments' put forth about 'problematic' content really hold up if you actually LISTEN to the battles. The so-called slutshaming is virtually nonexistent upon even one listen.
Not always. In Ivan the Terrible vs. Alexander the Great you\'ve got Catherine the Great, the only female in the video, being the only rapper that doesn\'t die to Ivan, and going on to absolutely destroy him while refuting the common myth about her dying while having sex with a horse.
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