Peter Shukoff (aka Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (aka EpicLLOYD) are making friends with their YouTube series, “Epic Rap Battles of History,” in which Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) appeared as Moses in “Moses vs Santa Claus” in Season 2. With more than 1.2 billion video views and a fan base of 5.4 million YouTube subscribers, ERB has just released a compilation CD with all 18 episodes of its second season. (They’ll be signing these for fans all through June.) In part two of our three-part series, Peter and Lloyd talk about their CD and what it was like to work with Snoop.
Do YouTube viewers still have CD players? How do you feel about CD sales in a digital world where everybody has iPods?
Peter: We try to make it something that’s a cool package…[The disc comes with a lyric booklet, an official “ERB” voting ballot, and a sticker.] That’s why we wanted to sign it. We realize now that a CD is more of a collector’s item.
Snoop Lion was a guest star in one of your videos and is also on the CD. Was it hard to call him Snoop Lion? I feel like I would forget.
Peter: I think if you just call him Snoop, you just kind of avoid the subject.
That’s good advice.
Peter: It’s like a Clark Kent/Superman kind of thing. There are two different sides of the same dude…I didn’t get it at first, but when I watched more of the music that he’s making under that name, it’s totally different…So, I kinda got it.
Lloyd: If you watch some of the video interviews that he’s done, there are specific reasons why he was doing that…he’s an artist and he feels like he’s a different person and has different things to share. I can respect that a ton as well.
Peter: He’s got a reggae children’s film.
Lloyd: I like his reggae. I think it’s really good.
Peter: Me, too. And I think that’s why he chose the Lion moniker… It shook everybody up. It was like, what is he doing? Why is he doing that? And it made people interested. He’s an innovative dude, that dude, and he was really cool to work with. He took it very seriously. He came on set, and we were all very nervous, obviously. But he told the director, “hey, direct me! You guys make these; I want to know how I can do it as well as possible.” We were blown away.
Would you guys ever do an epic reggae battle of history?
Lloyd: We’ve tossed around the idea of doing Bob Marley, maybe. I don’t think we would ever make the battle too reggae in its source, but a reggae character might be represented, maybe.
Peter: Just like with Mozart, we brought elements of his music into the piece. If we did something with Bob Marley, you’d certainly feel it in the music and you’d certainly feel it in his rap delivery style. It would be a reggae-tinged battle.