Posted on : 14-02-2013 | By : Chikodi Chima | In : Media Criticism, Social Media
For the record, I haven’t seen that many Harlem Shake videos, but the Internet is abuzz with them. After the Grammys on Sunday I had no idea what people were talking about, and it was a little disconcerting. As someone who lives on the Internet–and by it–I take trend spotting very seriously. Either on my client’s behalf, or for my own edification, I appreciate knowing the scoop.
The Harlem Shake is the new Gangnam Style according to New Media Rockstars, whose opinion on all things Internet I value highly. In the YouTube era, dance crazes like the Harlem Shake are part of a global conversation. Millions of Gangnam Style tribute videos have been produced, and their proliferation adds to the popularity of the original. See below:
The original video that spawned the craze was posted to YouTube on Feb. 2, 2013 and has racked up a respectable 5 million views. The song itself was released by Baauer more than one year ago on his SoundCloud page, and published to iTunes on Jan. 8, 2013. According to NMR more than 11,000 tribute videos have been uploaded, as of Monday. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of new uploads has tripled or quadrupled this week. That’s just how things go on the Internet.
The digestible, 30-second length and semi-predictability are no-doubt triggers for the rapid proliferation of the meme. It’s also a pretty damn cool song.
D’Vo, a UK-based producer who has quickly become one of my favorites, first exposed me to Baauer’s Harlem Shake as part of his Winter Warrior Mix, which I’ve embedded below. I like to listen to it when I jog.
Going back further in time, the real Harlem Shake dance, was a street style that was laughed out of existence after being popularized by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs of Bad Boy Records fame. If you tried to break out your best Harlem Shake moves on a dance floor I think you would still get seriously clowned. I’m including the quintessential video of Harlem Shake moves, from G Dep’s ‘Let’s Get It’ so you can just how far the dance has come in the last decade.
And in case you’re still interested in reviving the lost art form, here’s a handy tutorial. Shine like a diamond!