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Epic Rap Battles: Edison vs. Tesla

Epic Rap Battles of History has taken on the grandfathers of electrical power: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

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Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
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(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

The YouTube series "Epic Rap Battles of History" has taken on the grandfathers of electrical power: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

Edison hired Tesla in 1882, and the two worked together for a few years. Their relationship ended on bad terms over a misunderstanding about US$50,000 that Edison had promised to Tesla, and the two were mortal enemies ever since.

It was Edison who rose to fame and acclaim, while Tesla peaked, then languished, regarded as a crackpot. To be fair, he was conducting some pretty mad-scientist experiments; which, to the chagrin of academia, turned up some pretty spot-on results.

It wasn't, however, until recent decades that Tesla's genius has been widely recognised, and the result of that is a polarisation between Tesla fans and Edison fans, as the former believe that Edison unashamedly stole ideas from Tesla.

Clearly, there's only one way this debate can be solved: with an Epic Rap Battle. (Or you could go read some books and make up your own mind. You could start with Edison: A Biography and Tesla: Man out of Time, but there's no reason you can't watch the rap battle, too.)

Subscribe for more Epic Rap Battles on the ERB YouTube page.