The competition is stiff and the rhymes are harsh
If you have been watching late night TV, you know Lip Sync Battle is far from the only battle in town. Starting almost a full year ago, The Late Late Show’s unflappable host James Corden debuted new fixture called “Drop the Mic.” The fun segment finds the Carpool Karaoke maestro turning his vocal stylings up a notch and dishing rap disses as he squares off against various guests. The stars bring it, too, and the resulting rap battles have been a study in badass rhyming, quick thinking, and — wait for it — mic dropping. The segment has become so popular, in fact, that an independent stand-alone spinoff is set to debut this fall.
For a full dose of heated rap battles, read on for a roundup of every “Drop the Mic” moment with MC Corden and his celebrity opponents.
1. James Corden vs. Anne Hathaway
For the first round of “Drop the Mic,” Corden faced off against actress and singer Anne Hathaway, and they both went there. Corden teased the actress for her turn as Oscars host, and Hathaway mused that the late night host’s wife watches Seth Meyers instead. Both players had to hand it to the other — Hathaway reluctantly nodded after a jab that “that was good,” and Corden observed that her diss about his One Direction game “was actually mean.” In the end, the audience’s applause made it clear who dominated this round.
Winner: Anne Hathaway
2. James Corden vs. David Schwimmer vs. Rebel Wilson
After the first round went so well, Corden and co. whipped up another segment just the next day, and included some surprises. What was supposed to be a match between Schwimmer and Corden became a three-way fight when Rebel Wilson showed up “completely unannounced.” Corden mined Friends and even The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story for material against Schwimmer, and in turn, the actor who brought Ross Geller to life played dirty, wondering why Corden’s wife married him: “My bad, she blind?” Rebel killed in the end, though, serving up barbs for Schwimmer (“Your career’s a mistake / It’s like Ross and Rachel / It’s on a break”) and Corden (“Carpool Karaoke, you think it’s your big thing / But everyone is thinking, ‘Shut up and let Adele sing!'”).
Winner: Rebel Wilson
3. James Corden vs. Kevin Hart
Corden trotted out fellow funnyman Hart, and truly nothing was off the table. The host pulled out all the stops and made fun of Hart for his height (“You might think like a man / But you’re built like a boy”), even bringing out a step stool for the comic. Hart’s response: a zesty “Get that out my face!” The Ride Along star wasn’t going to be outdone, though, and did what many of the participants have done by criticizing Corden’s career: “I admit, most people nice to your face / Until they get home and realize you’re not Ricky Gervais.”
Winner: Kevin Hart (Are we sensing a pattern here yet?)
4. James Corden vs. Cara Delevingne vs. Dave Franco
Next we saw another three-way showdown, as both Delevingne and Franco showed up to shut down Corden on his own turf. After some rather off-color jokes, Franco scored his best line: “James, your show ends at 1:30 every week / So hello to the pets whose owners fell asleep!” Both Franco and Corden picked on Delevingne for her unusually robust eyebrows, but the unfazed actress and model targeted both of her opponents with one effective gibe: “You’re both shorter than me / And I think that you will find / I’ve hooked up with hotter girls than both of you combined.”
Winner: Cara Delevingne
5. James Corden vs. Usain Bolt
Last November, the “Drop the Mic” crew took things in a new direction, pairing Corden with Jamaican Gold medalist Usain Bolt. The two tried to intimidate each other, with Bolt assuring Corden, “All I do is win.” Corden asked the athlete, “You sure you’re ready for this? / ‘Cause you’re on my track now.” Things started off nasty and went downhill from there, and the scales were definitely tipped against the TV host. Bolt took a swipe with this line: “You never shoulda started / You probably shoulda fled / I run my race in 10 seconds / You last that long in bed!” And Corden came back with his own jab: “When your endorsements dry up / Hey, you can call me / We always need more PAs to run and get me coffee!” Good one, Corden, but in the end, the Olympic champion couldn’t be beat.
Winner: Usain Bolt
6. James Corden vs. Riz Ahmed
The most recent matchup went down in April, with The Night Of star Riz Ahmed becoming the latest contestant to trade repartee with the British late night personality. Their jabs were both mean and topical, touching on Unites Airlines and Sean Spicer, but the best exchanges had to do with Ahmed in the Star Wars film Rogue One: “Honestly, it’s mean to say in Star Wars he stinks / He made me miss the days of Jar Jar Binks,” taunted Corden. “Yeah, I did do Star Wars / I bet that made you mad / Too bad they weren’t tryin’ to cast Jabba the Hutt’s dad,” Ahmed rapped back. It was a pretty even match, but Ahmed swooped in with one last zinger: “Your jokes on the mic are spent / I saw you at Coachella / You were the big white tent.”
Winner: Riz Ahmed