Saturday, February 09, 2013

Harlem Shake Gets a Makeover

Well folks, we've got ourselves a new viral video. Like anything viral, there was a unique chain of events triggering the uncontrollable reaction. The story starts when @baauer uneventfully posted his own video for Harlem Shake on YouTube on August 23rd, 2012. Sure, the track got some love from other @maddecent folks like @flosstradamus and @diplo, but nothing to write home about. Fast forward to January 29th, when @FilthyFrank posted his own silly Harlem Shake video with people dressed up in latex costumes. Then came the impersonators on February 2nd PHL_On_NAN (2 million views) and TheSunnyCoastSkate (826,000 views) that put the song on full blast.

So what's my take on this new viral sensation? My honest to god knee jerk reaction was "what in the world have white people done to a great Hip Hop dance??" In case you missed it, the Hip Hop Harlem Shake first started in 1981, but became popularized after G Dep's Let's Get It video. According to the Urban Dictionary, there are two very different definitions for the Old Harlem Shake and the New Harlem Shake (deservedly so). In fact, it should speak volumes that the Hip Hop inspired dictionary defined the new dance as:
"A new stupid dance crass on YouTube, and people just making idiots of themselves. Usely only about 30-45 seconds long, where it starts out as one person dancing and everyone not noticing. Til about half way and then everyone in the room dances and shakes usely masked to hide their shame."
Minus the ignorant spelling of usually, I tend to agree with their definition because the dance looks more like Weekend at Bernies on Molly when white folks do it. But on the bright side, pop culture needs a formal introduction to Trap music, so who better to dish that out than @Baauer? Do the man a solid and support him at either iTunes or Beatport. Oh and for a sample of the madness below, check out the Top 10 recent Harlem Shake videos or feel free and sample below...#HarlemShake

Baauer - Harlem Shake


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