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Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3: Blackbeard vs. Al Capone Review

It’s been two weeks since we reviewed the season 3 premiere of Epic Rap Battles of History. We’ve decided (for better or worse) that we’re gonna be here for the whole season. So kick back and get ready to see two guys analyze a silly YouTube rap. This matchup is:




Special Effects and Costumes:

Sam: The ERB team said that they were going to borrow a pirate ship as a set piece for their next video, so I was already anticipating the backgrounds. Like I hoped, the pirate ship is a neat little add-on to the video. Al Capone’s background was also well-done but not exceptionally original. Nothing terribly interesting about the costumes this time around but they certainly don’t look craftsy.

Russ: I won’t lie: I went into this battle with about as much enthusiasm as a man forced to stick his dick in a beehive; that is to say, only mildly enthused.

An Epic Rap Battle with Adolf Hitler and Darth Vader is a tough act to follow though, so can you really blame a guy for tempering his expectations?

The costumes are alright. They’re a step above the garbage I find while trying to find a costume at the last possible minute on October 31st; rummaging through piles of hodgepodge fabric and costumes that no person with an ounce of self-respect should ever be — like this little asswipe. Or “Sexy Lorax.”

Guest characters/celebrity appearances:

Sam: I thought that the appearance of the Assasin’s Creed character was kind of cool. I also appreciate how it didn’t get in the way of the actual rap, just was a little visual easter egg.

Russ: Hey, is there a game called Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag coming out soon?

I’m not really sure. The unskippable Assassin’s Creed IV advertisement before the epic rap battle, the “clandestine” hooded protagonist of the game hopping around all nimbly bimbly in the background and the shout out to the game directly after the video finished weren’t really convincing enough.

In all seriousness though, I’m glad to see such a big sponsor of sorts for the Epic Rap Battle guys. They’ve got a good thing going here and have for three seasons now, so I have whatever the opposite of Schadenfreude is for them.

Verse #1:

Sam: Nicely done. This verse was entertaining and fun. I think it was nicely paced and the rapping was just as fast as necessary without teetering on hard to understand. My only trouble with this verse was Blackbeard’s diss to brag ratio. He spent a little too much time talking about how great he was and too little time putting Capone down. My favorite line?

Russ: Blackbeard came out much stronger than expected. “Scallywag swagger,” “I’m the high seas Caesar,” and calling Capone both an “obese, greasy sleaze” and dogging on his inadequate “diseased peter,” were all classic.

Other things Blackbeard did well: NicePeter nailed the Blackbeard pirate voice. Historically accurate? Don’t know. Don’t particularly care. But to take the concept of a f-----g pirate rapping and using nautical terms without sounding annoying or contrived? NicePeter did real nice.

Verse #2:

Sam: I really like how Epic Lloyd portrayed Al Capone in this verse. He is sarcastic, slippery and sleazy sounding all while rapping. I didn’t like, however, how the rap slows down in the opening seconds of this rap. Although the rhymes aren’t forced it isn’t as exciting as it would be had the beat been a little quicker. I do like a lot of Capone’s disses, they seemed to have a real edge to them. The one that the stung the most was this:



Russ: Epic Lloyd’s spit as Al Capone is slower, more methodical. Voice-wise he’s going with Robert De Niro’s Capone from The Untouchables despite the fact that Capone’s voice might have been scragglier and rougher-sounding, like this, according to his family members. (Italian Method Man? That could’ve been interesting.)

That being said, although his vox and first verse didn’t impress me that much, it grew on me some as the song progressed. Lloyd’s also got the “Shaddap You Face” mobster mannerisms and gesticulations down pat. (Though I’m glad he didn’t use the aforementioned line.)

Verse #3:

Sam: Although it wasn’t quite as good as Blackbeard’s opening this verse was still enjoyable. Some great starting lines are followed by a cool drop which makes this verse even better. Blackbeard was throwing a lot more insults which was a nice change from the first verse.

Russ: I agree, not as strong as Blackbeard’s opening verse, though to be fair Verse #3 is more expository in nature with key disses directed at The Valentine’s Day Massacre, a conflict between Capone’s South Side Italian gang and rival Bugs Moran’s North Side Irish gang that ended with seven deaths, Capone’s tax income evasion, and trivialization of Capone’s bootlegging activities during the Prohibition. (“I’ll pilfer all your rum/And sell it back at a profit.”)

Still, a little more boring than Blackbeard’s first in terms of rhyme scheme and delivery.

Verse #4:

Sam: These are some of the best lines that have been spat since the beginning of Season 1. Some awesome disses on Capone’s part with excellent delivery and some more advanced beats. The ending line was subtle yet clever, one of the best I’ve heard from the ERBs.


Agree again, Sam. Capone’s second offering was dirty. His voice has gone from “annoying Goodfellas impression” to arrogant, deep, and angry.

Dug the pause after “Rap so hard they call me Al,” and then the subsequent “dente” drop at 1:49.

Phat Beats:

Sam: Aside from sometimes being a little too slow at times the beats were pretty awesome. They complimented both of the characters personalities and changed and progressed as the rap went on.


  • Strong lyrics from both Blackbeard and Capone
  • Accents and impressions are entertaining, not annoying
  • Much more enjoyable than we thought, especially with the act it followed.
  • Costumes are nothing special, but good enough.
  • If you don’t like Assassin’s Creed, prepare to get annoyed.

Who Won?

Sam: I actually liked Blackbeard’s rhymes a lot better.

Russ: Blackbeard’s rhymes brought a lot more factual evidence and his tone was more unique and fresh than Capone’s.

Although Capone’s delivery was stronger towards the end, I’m giving this one to Blackbeard overall as well.

Who’s Next?

Sam: Nyan Cat vs. Grumpy Cat

Russ: Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries vs. Chris Hansen.


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