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Harlem Doesn’t Like All The (Fake) Harlem Shake Videos

Submitted by on February 22, 2013 – 11:22 amNo Comment

The Internet has gone crazy over the last few days for The Harlem Shake- or something calling itself the Harlem Shake. But residents of Harlem aren’t impressed.

Schlepp Films caught up with some folks north of 125th Street and caught their reactions to some Harlem Shake videos:

The most common reaction? “That’s not the Harlem Shake.”

This is the actual Harlem Shake. Yes, it’s very loose-limbed, and consists of mostly upper body movement and some pelvic thrusts- but there’s clearly a high degree of coordination going on.

According to Wikipedia, the actual Harlem Shake originated in the early 1980′s, yes, in Harlem, and it looked like this. But even that dance had gained wider attention by 2001.

By contrast, the meme “The Harlem Shake” comes from a song by that name released in 2012 by Baauer, which samples a 2001 song that mentions the dance.

One commentor states that Harlem is “being disrespected.”

I hope not, at least not intentionally; most people didn’t know there was a “real” Harlem Shake, and would have made the silly videos even if it was called something else or if there was another excuse to gyrate wildly.

According to Know Your Meme, about 12,000 Harlem Shake videos had been posted to YouTube by Feb. 13, amassing 44 million views. Baauer’s single shot to the top of the Billboard charts when the ranking group added YouTube to its calculations for the first time.

What do you think of the Harlem Shake- the actual dance, and the trend?

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