Greetings, heroes! Stan Lee's here to battle!
(Stan Lee often addressed his followers as "heroes". Here, he introduces himself to them while stating his intentions for a lyrical battle.)
It's the mind behind the Hulk against the geek beneath the Fraggles!
(Lee was the creator of the Incredible Hulk, while Henson created the television series Fraggle Rock, as well as being one of the many puppeteers on that show, hence the term "beneath". To be "beneath" someone is to be not as known or liked as them, so Lee says that the Fraggles are more well known and more liked than Henson. This could also reference on how Fraggles live underground.)
I'm just your friendly neighborhood writer man with a secret identity of a super MC
(Lee's character Spider-Man often introduces himself as "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man", so he makes a pun based on Lee's status as a comic writer. The superheroes Lee created often had a "secret identity" to separate their alter egos from their hero selves. Lee's secret identity is that of a supreme rapper.)
Whose raps are as dark as my shades; leave you squealing like "MEMEMEMEME!"
(Lee's sunglasses were noticeably dark, and he proclaims that his raps are at an even darker level than his heavily tinted sunglasses. One of Jim Henson's Muppets, Beaker, only speaks in a series of high pitched cries of "ME". Lee claims that his raps will leave Henson squealing in fear.)
You're in trouble now, Jimmy, you dirty old hippie!
(Lee warns Henson that he is in trouble and calls him a hippie, which was a subculture significant in the 1960s for anti-war beliefs and beliefs in peace as a whole. Henson, a very mellow and gentle man with long hair and a long beard, could be seen as similar to this attitude.)
Your beard needs a little bit of snikt, damn skippy!
("Snikt!" is the sound effect that emerges when the Marvel character Wolverine unleashes the blades found in his knuckles, telling Henson that he will take the hair off his beard himself. "Damn Skippy!" is another way to say yes.)
Heck, that face on your neck ain't sexy!
(Lee finds Henson unattractive as he is not clean-shaven.)
You're one part Sweetums, the other part Skeksis!
(Lee says that Henson looks like Sweetums, a hairy giant from The Muppet Show, mixed with a Skeksis, a bird-like race of creatures from Henson's 1982 film The Dark Crystal. Neither of these characters look attractive.)
Step up to Lee and you get your butt kicked!
(Lee says that challenging him will result in defeat.)
Your muppet Snuffleupagus stuff is bupkis!
(Lee claims that all of Henson's Muppets, such as Mr. Snuffleupagus, mean "bupkis", or nothing. This also references the Snuffleupagus' first few episodes when people believed that he was only a part of Big Bird's imagination due to nobody but Big Bird seeing him.)
I broke Ferrigno and the Comics Code,
(Lou Ferrigno was the actor who portrayed The Hulk on the late 1970s television show The Incredible Hulk, and this is often considered to be the breakout character of Ferrigno's career. The Comics Code Authority (CCA) regulated the content allowed in mainstream comics such as Marvel's. In the early 1970s, Lee was approached by the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare to make a story about drug abuse. The CCA refused to allow Marvel to publish it because the showing of drug usage was considered indecent. Marvel did so regardless, thus "breaking" the Comics Code.)
So keep your frog and pig show moving right along down the road!
(Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are two of the biggest Muppets, making Henson's work a "frog and pig show". "Movin' Right Along" is a song from the 1979 film The Muppet Movie, and Lee uses this reference to tell Henson to keep moving, or to get away from Lee. This could also reference "Get Blue (Goin' Down the Road)", a song in Fraggle Rock. Road is also a synonym for street, so Lee could also be referencing the show Sesame Street, which Henson contributed to.)
I'm glad you got that out.
(Henson appreciates Lee's thoughts of him as Kermit explains why in the next line.)
That anger can clutter your mind.
(Kermit gives some helpful advice that if he saved his anger, it could easily be on his mind until he lets it out. This is a reference to "Limbo", Hensons's first real puppeteering short, about a man who enters his own mind to clear the clutter. It may also hold significance that Kermit says this instead of Henson, since Henson often said Kermit was a sort of way for him to express his more cynical side, so it can be said Kermit was a way for Henson to keep his mind from getting cluttered.)
But you're a creative man, Stanley (yeah), so let's just leave it behind
(Henson acknowledges Lee's creativity and decides to overlook his anger.)
'Cause I can sense your tension once the verbal fencing starts commencing,
(Fencing is a sport in which two duel in a swordfight, and Henson calls the rap verbal fencing as in their fighting with words instead of swords. Henson also tells Lee that he feels that Lee is feeling tense, or reluctant when they are rapping against each other.)
There is no defense against the dents Jim Henson is dispensing,
(Henson claims nothing can protect Lee when he releases his raps, and they will leave bruises on him.)
And I'm clenching all your strings like you're a puppet in suspension.
(Puppets are usually controlled by strings, and since Henson is a puppeteer, Lee would be controlled by him. This is also a reference to Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Ultron, the main villain, claims he had strings, but now he's free.)
Call your superhero friends in.
(Henson tells Lee to call in some of the Marvel Super Heroes for a reason Kermit will finish in the next line.)
Kermit the Frog:
Yeah, 'cause you're gonna need Avenging.
(Henson and Kermit say once they have slaughtered Lee in a rap battle, he will need someone to avenge his loss, so the duo recommend his superhero team, the Avengers, a Marvel Comics team of various heroes whose name fit in with avenging Lee.)
Let me mention: I'm impressed by all the vision that it took
(Henson explains that he's impressed by Lee's actions, explained in the next line. Vision also happens to be the name of a Marvel superhero.)
For you to sign your name
(Henson accuses Lee of writing his name to take credit for what he didn't do, further explained by Kermit.)
Kermit the Frog:
On all of Jack Kirby's comic books.
(Jack Kirby was the illustrator who worked alongside Lee at Marvel Comics. His depictions of the characters are arguably the reason behind the character's success. Though Lee often times fought against it, credit was very rarely given to Kirby and almost always given to Lee. Kermit is suggesting that the books are Kirby's and that Lee took credit for them.)
Nice try, frogman, but Jack was a friend of mine! (THWIP!)
(Lee says that Kermit gave a try in rapping and calls him Frogman, a comedic superhero in Marvel. He also informs Kermit and Henson that he and Jack Kirby were friends, so he considered them to be equal. It's also a reference to a famous line in the 1988 Vice Presidential Debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle where Quayle claimed his political experience was similar to Jack Kennedy before Kennedy was President. Bentsen replied, "Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Lee then in the background swings on a web similiar to Spider-Man adding the THWIP! sound effect like how Spider-Man shoots his webs out in the comics.)
That was a low blow. He did his own Thing, and now you've made it clobbering time! (SPLONK!)
(Lee tells Henson that the remark he made was rude, and that Jack Kirby did what he did without Lee needing to be there. The Thing (real name Benjamin J. Grimm) was created by Jack Kirby. The character is also a member of the Fantastic Four known for his hulking build and rocky skin whose signature catchphrase is, "It's clobberin' time!", in which Lee tells Henson that he's about to beat him harder than he previously did. In the next scene, Lee punches a web-slinging Lee from the earlier line, adding the "SPLONK!" sound effect, which is commonly used when a character punches another character along with "BAM!" and "POW!")
Oh, you taught children to count and spell,
(Lee references Sesame Street, notable for its educational value of numbers and letters among other things. At this point, Lee controls a puppet of himself, a common recurring joke on The Muppet Show that Henson made a puppet of himself and other cast members in numerous skits. According to Behind the Scenes, the puppet version of Lee is also a reference to Lee's several cameos in Marvel Movies. Lee also sings this line in the meter and melody of the Sesame Street theme song. Count also happens to be a character in Sesame Street.)
Then you taught your own kids how to drop your wife harder than you flopped on SNL!
(Jim and Jane Henson separated in 1986 due to Jim Henson being too involved in his work, and he had a total of five children at the time. Lee also refers to Henson's involvement in the first season of Saturday Night Live with "The Land of Gorch", which he never continued because he and the writers didn't feel their material worked together.)
I'm telling you, Henson! You wouldn't like me when I'm angry!
(Lee tells Henson that he would not like it when Lee is angry, which is a reference to Bruce Banner/The Hulk, who sometimes says, "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry," as a way to warn people about how he turns into the Hulk when he is angry.)
I'm a marvel of a party pooper!
(Lee was the CEO of Marvel Comics, and the word marvel also means "wonder", while a party pooper is someone who throws gloom over enjoyment. Lee says he's a wonder in bringing people like Henson down.)
I'll snap your turtleneck like a Doozer stick,
(A turtleneck is a type of sweater, and Henson was known to wear these, as he does in the battle. Additionally, Lee might be referencing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animatronics created by Henson for the Turtles' live action movies. The Doozers are small creatures from Henson's show Fraggle Rock, which build their cities out of "Doozer sticks" made from processed radishes. The Fraggles enjoy their flavor, so they often break down the Doozer's buildings in order to feed on the sticks.)
And put you out to pasture like Mr. Hooper!
(To "put out to pasture" is to get rid of or retire someone. After William Lee (no relation to Stan Lee) passed away in 1982, Sesame Street made an episode to teach children about death by having the character he played, Mr. Hooper, die off as well.)
I'm sorry, Jim. Sometimes I can't control my rage.
(At this point, Lee realizes he's gone too far in his disses and apologizes to Henson. He doesn't actually want to fight Henson, for reasons that will be explained later on. This verse is another reference to the Hulk. Bruce Banner is sometimes unable to control his rage which causes him to transform into the Hulk. Lee says that he cannot control his rage like how Bruce Banner cannot control his rage.)
Honestly, there's a lot of things that you can't control at my age,
(Lee was born in 1922, making him 92 years old at the time of the release of this rap battle, as well as the oldest living rapper on the series to date. Men and women around this age are often unable to control their bladders, their bowel movements, their emotions, or their fine motor functions. Lee might also be lamenting the fact that as an artist grows older, he or she may start having less and less creative control over their creations, as other people assume it instead. This will be further discussed in the rest of the battle.)
But the truth is, I miss ya. You were gone too soon.
(Lee misses Henson and laments the fact that he his life ended too early. Henson died in 1990 at the age of 53, but he was still very much active at the time and had several unfinished projects and ideas which turned out to never be completed due to his unexpected death.)
You were like watching a beautiful sunset…at noon.
(Lee makes a simile that says that Henson dying is like a sun setting at noon, because it is an early end to his life as well as an early end to the day.)
(Aw.) Stan, don't be sad. We all have a time to go. (Yeah…)
(Henson tells Lee to not be sad about his death. This is also another reference to the aforementioned episode of Sesame Street. Henson decided to keep the moral of the episode that everyone has a time to go, or die. In hindsight, Lee's "time to go" did not seem likely when the battle was published, but would pass in 2018 after a protracted battle with pneumonia.)
Most of the internet thought that you died 12 years ago,
(Lee was one of many elderly celebrities to have death hoaxes associated with him, with the biggest being in 2003, twelve years before the rap battle.)
But the Four will always be Fantastic. The Hulk will always be Incredible.
(Henson reminds Lee that his characters such as the Fantastic Four will forever remain "fantastic" and the Incredible Hulk, "incredible", even when he does pass. Ironically, the new Fantastic Four movie, which was released on the week of the battle, received extremely negative reviews from both critics and audiences.)
The words you wove within the hearts of heroes are indelible.
(Henson reminds him that the dialogue he wrote in his many comics will never fade away and will touch readers for years. He's basically comforting Lee by assuring that he doesn't need to lament the fact that artists will eventually grow old and die, because the things that they created in life will go on and will still be appreciated and remembered.)
There is no beef between us. We're two minds of the same kind,
(Henson assures that there is no grudge between the two and that their creations are alike in ways.)
And there is no man who could ever muck with what we've left behind.
(Henson believes nobody could ever attempt to destroy what they leave behind when they die, a direct reference to the Disney company which has bought both the Muppets in 2005 and Marvel in 2010. In fact, Henson himself intended for Disney to buy the Muppets fifteen years prior, in 1990, which was the purpose for The Muppets Go to Disney World, before his death later that year. Henson had confidence that Disney would take good care of the Muppets after his time had come to pass.)
M-I-C! I rock the mic properly!
(An off-screen Walt Disney spells out the three first letters of Mickey Mouse, his most famous creation, much like the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club, specifically the lyrics to the closing song of the show, saying, "M-I-C, see you real soon. K-E-Y, why? Because we like you!" The first three letters of Mickey's name spells "mic", which is an abbreviation of "microphone". Disney says he "rocks the mic", or is good at rhyming.)
K-E-Y! Turning profits, I've got the key!
(Disney then completes Mickey's first name, the second half spelling "key." Disney says that he makes money by turning profits, turning them like he would a key.)
I'm the Juggernaut of stacking knots unstoppably!
(The Juggernaut is a famous villain/anti-hero in the X-Men comics, whose name comes from the word itself, meaning "an unstoppable force". In the film X-Men: The Last Stand, the character became known for a scene in which he yells, "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" A knot is a term that means "wad of cash", so Disney says he's unstoppable at making stacks of money, and no force can prevent him from continuing to do so.)
The Disneyland-lord of your intellectual property!
(Landlords own properties of specific people, rented or otherwise. Disney is making a pun on the famous theme park Disneyland and reminding Lee and Henson that his company owns both Marvel Comics and the Muppets, which are considered intellectual property and thus protected by copyright laws. Disney is also infamously known as the main reason behind several copyright terms extension acts in USA law, made basically to prevent his creations from becoming public domain. Therefore, Disney has enough power to alter intellectual property laws to his advantage.)
So get back to work! That's my dime you're wasting!
(A pun on the phrase "Time is money." Disney thinks Henson and Lee are wasting time, so they are wasting money and should return to working.)
I didn't buy you for billions so you could play around debating!
(Both Lee and Henson had very popular and successful properties, so it took Disney billions of dollars to buy each, a major investment even for his company. As their boss, he's ending the battle and sending them back to work.)
(Ha!) You belong to Disney, which means you stay busy
(As said above, Disney owns Lee and Henson's properties, and at Disney, they will stay busy or be fired from their own companies.)
Cranking out magic and assembly line whimsy!
(Disneyland is known as the place "where magic happens", and Disney films are considered to be "magic" for their popular animation and entertainment. An assembly line is a series of workers and machines working progressively to assemble and produce goods quickly and efficiently. Disney claims that he produces magic quickly like assembly lines owned by him.)
Artists begging me to stop; I won't let 'em!
(Workers producing Disney's children's books work for 10-13 hours a day and often faint from exhaustion due to the unbearable heat. They also have no freedom of association and are beaten when they do not meet their quota. One particularly egregious example of workers complaining was the Disney Animators' Strike of 1941, which cut the animation staff nearly in half. Disney says that he will not let artists working for him stop producing Disney-associated products.)
Labor conditions in my shop? I don't sweat 'em!
(The Walt Disney Company was known to have sweatshops in places like China and Haiti, where the workers are paid only 33 to 41 cents an hour and work in terrible condition with no health insurance. Disney claims he doesn't care about labor conditions, or doesn't sweat them, thus making a pun. This might also reference Disney's old studio on Hyperion Lane, Disney had a "sweat box", a small theater where animators would bring in their rough animations to be critiqued. It was called the "sweat box" because it got hot easily and the animators would get nervous about Disney looking at their work. It also references the working classes of Disney where certain employees received more privilege and were paid more than other workers, which was the main reason of the Disney Animators' Strike of 1941.)
I'm powerful enough to make a mouse gigantic!
(Disney's company is rich and powerful enough to make a small creature like a mouse become a huge figure with his talent and influence, a direct reference to Mickey Mouse, his most famous creation and common symbol for Disney.)
With only three circles, I dominate the planet!
(Mickey Mouse is one of the most popular characters in the world, and his emblem is a simple three circles arranged to look like Mickey's head. Disney says that he dominated the planet with Mickey and his emblem.)
(Ha!) Clearly, there's nobody near me!
(It is obvious that nobody was able to build a empire to rival Disney's, with the Walt Disney Company being the largest media and entertainment company in the world.)
I'm owning this battle! In fact, I own this whole series!
(Disney claims he is winning the battle, or owning it, just as he owns the Muppets, Henson's creation, and Marvel, Lee's company. Furthermore, the Walt Disney Company owns Maker Studios, which produces Epic Rap Battles of History, so in a literal sense, Disney owns ERB.)
So hop on my Steamboat, boys, but don't rock it!
(Disney produced the famous animated short Steamboat Willie in 1928, featuring his character Mickey Mouse. Disney invites Henson and Lee to hop on his Steamboat, or work for him. However, Disney warns them not to rock the boat, or stir up troubles.)
I'll put a smile on your face and green in your pocket!
(If Henson and Lee work for Disney, they'll gain lots of money and be happy.)
You'll be safe and insured when you're under my employ!
(Contrary to Disney's lines to not allowing better work conditions and not letting artists stop, Disney employees who help with their creativity rather than working in sweatshops often get decent pay and insurance.)
Now, look at it! Gaze upon my empire of joy!
(The point of Disney was to bring joy to people. Disney has bought dozens of major companies, enough to call themselves a true empire. Disney forces Lee and Henson to look at all their fellow CEOs and animators reduced to desk job workers before his power.)
You knew your game with the ladies wasn't so super
(Lee says that Henson wasn't very popular with women and didn't have very good relationships with them.)
So you made a bunch of puppets and felt up some Boobers
(Henson's life was devoted to puppet work, so Lee claims he used his puppets to replace the women in his lack of decent human relationships. Boober is one of the five main Fraggles from Henson's show, Fraggle Rock, but it is also a pun on the word boobies, or breasts.)
You know you game with the ladies was as tiny as a Doozer
(See "You knew your game with the ladies wasn't so super". Doozers are a race of tiny green Muppets.)