The Story Behind the Harlem Shake

March 2, 2013

A quick Google search refers to the word ‘viral’ as virus – “Of the nature of, caused by, or relating to a virus or viruses.”

That’s a pretty clear definition of how quickly the tune ‘Harlem Shake’ conquered the Billboard charts, Spotify, Deezer, YouTube... you name it. It’s a widespread phenomenon, where celebrities and ordinary people alike are more than happy to participate.

That’s right, hospitals, courtrooms, universities, Jackson’s-Winkeljohn’s MMA Academy and Miami Heat are all there.

The man behind the tune is Philadelphia-native Harry Baauer Rodrigues. Baauer created the tune out of his bedroom studio, and then put it online. From there, SoundCloud crawlers amongst who was Scottish DJ Rustie helped the ‘Harlem Shake’ to spread through the interweb. Rustie had the biggest contribution in turning the Harlem Shake into a viral hit, after featuring it on his famous “Essential Mix” for BBC Radio One.

Comical videos followed after the track made it on YouTube, with hundreds of people making their own ‘Harlem Shake Videos’. Just like that, and within an incredibly short period of time.

Most of the viral music tracks do their thing, and disappear after two weeks. However, in Baauer’s case things are a little bit different. The influence on the track is thought to be so big that it could catapult the whole Hip Hop sub-genre Trap into the mainstream stage. Baauer is still pretty far away from the likes of Tiesto, Avicii, Alesso, and Tommy Trash, but the potential is clearly there.

Check out the awesome Harlem Shake videos below, and don’t forget to ‘Like’ VFD Marketing at /VFDMarketing.