Harlem Shake Video: So, What Exactly is the Harlem Shake?

“¡Con los terroristas!” Sound familiar? If it does it may be because of the new craze sweeping the web called the “Harlem Shake.” So what exactly has the web so shaken up?

The Harlem Shake consists of a 30 second video starting with one person moving to the beat. Once the beat drops, everyone starts shaking. The first video posted was this:

 

However, the internet craze really started when BuzzFeed posted this video:

 

The "shake" is not just a person flailing their body around. The actual Harlem shake is a dance that originated in Harlem, New York in 1981. If you’re interested, the video below will teach you how to do the actual Harlem shake.


However this 21st century Harlem Shake is a song by electronic music artist Baauer. The track came out almost a year ago on Grammy nominated producer Diplo’s label Mad Decent. If you’re unfamiliar with electronic music, the genre that Baauer’s Harlem Shake falls into is a newer hybrid genre called Trap. Trap music is a combination of hip-hop, house, and crunk. The full song can be seen here:


Now the craze has offices, sports teams and other “shakers” across the globe trying the Harlem Shake for themselves. The craze even has Jimmy Fallon (see below), College Humor and The Peanuts (also below) adding their videos to the hundreds on the web.

Fallon edition:


Peanuts edition:


When I was able to see Baauer live in October I never expected that this track would be the talk of the world months later. In a matter of days the unknown trap song has skyrocketed to #24 on iTunes. If you listen to the radio or look at this new internet meme, it is clear that electronic music is shaking up the mainstream.

Now go do the Harlem shake …

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alexander M. Spring

Alexander Spring is from New York City. He is currently a sophomore at Tufts University in Medford, MA. Alex is a Cognitive and Brain Sciences major, Economics minor and is pre-med. Additionally, Alex writes for the Huffington Post as well as The Tufts Daily.

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