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The Madison Record

Rap ‘battle’ parodies Bob Jones-James Clemens rivalry

Marcos Canabal and Caleb Besaw filmed "Epic Rap Battles of Madison City." (CONTRIBUTED)
Marcos Canabal and Caleb Besaw filmed “Epic Rap Battles of Madison City.” (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Madison teenagers have filmed a funny, clever parody of the good-natured rivalry between the town’s two high schools.

Both seniors and friends, Caleb Besaw from James Clemens High School and Marcos Canabal from Bob Jones High School got their idea from the “Epic Rap Battles of History” channel on YouTube.

“They pit famous fictional and non-fictional characters against each other in rap battles, like Bill Gates versus Steve Jobs, Cleopatra versus Marilyn Monroe,” Besaw said. Joking around, Besaw and Canabal decided an intra-city rap would be hilarious. After school ended, the spent three weeks filming “Epic Rap Battles of Madison City.”

After opening at Bridge Street, the video shows campus and city scenes.

To view the video, visit http://goo.gl/ZEdrr. The video received more than 1,000 views in two days.

“We made the video for fun and to poke fun at people who try to make a big deal about how the two (schools) are ‘so’ different. We added Dr. Dee Fowler at the end to help signify, though we may be rivals, we’ll always be one school system,” Besaw said.

Canabal and Besaw laugh out of character during their 'epic rap.' (CONTRIBUTED)
Canabal and Besaw laugh out of character during their ‘epic rap.’ (CONTRIBUTED)

Besaw and Canabal wrote and rapped lyrics and operated cameras. Besaw dubbed Fowler. Other crew included Krista Taylor, James Clemens senior, camera; Patrick Quillen, Bob Jones senior, Fowler’s wardrobe and “Fowler’s baby-powder hair and mustache”; and Alex Black, James Clemens senior, portraying Fowler.

A bed sheet at Caleb’s home served as a ‘green screen.’ “The hardest part was editing. I had to match up the prerecorded song with the video,” Besaw said. “We wanted it to be controversial so that people would watch, but not too controversial so that we’d get in trouble.”

What reactions have adults and peers had? “We hope they laugh along with us at the lines and actions,” Besaw said.

At James Clemens, Besaw plays varsity soccer. Canabal is a member of Young Politicians. They both belong to Madison Youth Leadership Council.

More productions are underway. “The teaser is ‘Madison takes on something bigger than itself,'” Besaw said.

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