Harlem Shake: Thirty Second Internet Sensation

February 18, 2013

If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the past week, you’ve at least heard of the newest viral sensation, the Harlem Shake.  Two weeks ago, Baauer, the New York producer was practically unknown; today, he’s the one responsible for the mayhem that has become the Harlem Shake.

For those of you unknown with the “rules” behind participating in the Harlem Shake, the Weknowthedj team is willing to give you a quick rundown to help you better understand the thirty-second dance. Usually one person in a helmet or masks dances alone in the middle of the room for about 15 seconds and then the beat drops! Once the beat drops, the view of the clip switches and the great reveal is made. The dropping of the beat signals sometimes dozens, but more often, there are hundreds of people involved in the making of a Harlem Shake video. The concept of doing the Harlem Shake isn’t complete unless a majority of the participants are dressed in absolutely ridiculous costumes. The more random, the better!

Although the song was released in May of 2012, it became popular nine months later. On February 16th, Harlem Shake even made it to the top of the iTunes chart; although the thirty-six second song is expected to get back to the top of the chart, it’s number one spot was taken away by British boy-band One Direction. Baauer isn’t just taking over the iTunes chart though, he’s also making YouTube all about him! YouTube has reported that over 4,000 homemade Harlem Shake videos are being uploaded to the site everyday. That’s a lot of shaking!

The last “big-time” Internet sensation came from Psy with Gangnam Style, and like everything else, the Harlem Shake is definitely being compared to the 2012 hit. While Gangnam Style took over the airways and Psy became successful with the help of Scooter Braun, Harlem Style is getting a different type of attention. Harlem Style is definitely easier to make your own video for and it’s a lot shorter than Psy’s hit. Check out the video below of some of the greatest Harlem Shake videos around. Also, feel free to send us your rendition of the latest craze!

Be sure to follow Baauer on Twitter at @bauuer. Send us your feedback, opinions and your best Harlem Shake videos at @weknowthedj


Meg C.



Featured image credit: Asia G./@asiagousse

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