It feels really weird writing about things that are everywhere but you’re not sure if people have actually seen it or heard it. And if you’re a person on the internet once in a while, you’ve probably seen the dozens of videos inspired by Baauer’s “The Harlem Shake.” Now, to be clear, the song is not what the dance really is. The actual harlem shake is a dance that started, pretty much, back in 1981 in the South Bronx. It’s an old-school hip-hop dance move and it could even go further back, if you’ll go, to Ehtiopia and a traditional dance they do called “Eskista.” You can check out a demonstraion of the more modern, club and chorgrapher-friendly version here.
The way it comes back to Philly was tipped off to me by a one Mr. DJ Apt One or, one half of Philadelphyinz. The man’s got a good ear, and when he started to hear Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” literally everywhere, and noticed its position at #2 on the iTunes, he took notice. Oh, that’s a sample I used on a moombathon remix. And furthermore, there’s a sample in Baauer’s track that samples Plastic Little’s “Miller Time.” Jayson Musson AKA Hennessy Youngman is credited for using a reference to dancing the harlem shake after knocking a sucka out in “Miller Time” and Musson recently Instragrammed confirmation from Baauer himself that his shake is in the mix.
Baauer used to be called Cap’nHarry and was a Philly-friendly DJ and producer who threw parties in Philadelphia. These days he’s in Brooklyn and blowing shit up worldwide. Fun how these kinds of things come back to Philly, isn’t it?
This one’s my favorite (cuz guess why):