Have you seen those mash-up videos where "Sesame Street" characters like Big Bird and Cookie Monster rap like your favorite MCs? If so, you've most likely watched the work of Benjamin Roberts, also known as AnimalRobot.
The Toronto YouTuber - whose videos became Internet sensations this year - began making these rap mash-ups back in March. He'd been listening to Girl Talk's All Day, a 2010 project that remixed and blended cuts from different genres. This gave Roberts an idea.
How AnimalRobot Started Blending Raps With Kids' Shows
"[I] thought it would be really cool to repurpose video in the same way that he was repurposing music," he said in an exclusive statement to MTV News Sunday (Jun. 7).
His first rap video? "Dinosaurs'" Earl Sinclair performing Biggie's "Hypnotize." It took five days of watching episodes of the series, selecting clips and synching footage. When he was done, Roberts shared the vid with a friend.
"He started laughing like crazy," Roberts said. "I thought it might be a hit. I put it up on YouTube and it went super viral. On the first day it did 2 or 3 million views."
How Does AnimalRobot Make These Hilarious Clips?
The videos are fun, but don't let that fool you. They also require a lot of work. First, Roberts said he asks himself many questions, including "Is it funny?" and "Are the movements right?"
From there, he uses Adobe Premiere to cut the footage and make adjustments.
And how long does the whole process take? That depends. "'Cookie Monster vs. Busta Rhymes' was about 10 hours, but 'Rap God vs. Rick and Morty' took nearly 100 hours," he said. "That one was crazy."
What's Next For AnimalRobot?
Don't think Roberts is done with these mash-ups. "I’d love to do ‘The Choice is Yours’ by Black Sheep," he said. "A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing was the first hip-hop album I ever listened to."
He has other ideas too but doesn't want to spoil any surprises. "The unexpectedness of the pairings is part of the fun," he added.
Sounds like AnimalRobot's just getting started.