The VPM Blog

[Please Do Not] Do "The Harlem Shake"

Posted by Gray on Feb 22, 2013 4:36:18 AM

According to Wikipedia... The Harlem Shake is a dance originating in Harlem (makes sense) in 1981. In 2012, an artist by the name of Baauer made a techno/dub-step song of the same name. And in February 2013, it inspired a sensational Internet meme that could quite possibly have surpassed previous one such as “planking” or the “sh*t nobody says” videos.

According to Time’s Business blog, “More than 4,000 videos featuring the words “Harlem Shake” were being posted per day to YouTube during the peak of the mania last week, and new versions continue to crop up.”

It feels like I’ve seen that many -or more- in my Twitter feed, alone.

Every other tweet contains a link to someone else “breaking it down” to the techno-­beat song. From the student section at a college basketball game to our nation’s military, everyone is shaking it in silly and ridiculous costumes doing the whitest dance moves. I bet our grandparents have even done one at their nursing home.

In my grueling research for this post, I noticed something all of the wacky videos have in common. In their description, they all claim to be “the best Harlem Shake” or “the ORIGINAL Harlem Shake.” I ask you this, internet: if every Harlem Shake video is special, doesn’t that mean none of them are?

Not only has everyone and their grandmother in the nursing home made one, but the beat has been dropped everywhere on this green earth: on land, underwater, and in the sky. University of Georgia’s swim and dive team “got jiggy with it” on the bottom of their pool.

Now, Red Bull (who else) has a team of skydivers free-falling AND freestyling. I guess space is the final frontier for the Harlem Shake. As I type these words I bet some astronauts are doing a zero gravity version of it on the international space station.

Each Harlem Shake video runs at around 31 seconds. If only the craze itself had lasted that long. TechCrunch called it on February 15, 2013 -an eternity [a week] ago- claiming they were the LAST office to get on board. If only that were true... I can only hope that we’ve all shaken the Harlem out of our systems and it will quickly become sh*t nobody does.

I realize that I’ve sounded a bit “bah humbug” about all of this business; maybe you’re thinking I’m resembling a certain sourpuss known as Grumpy Cat but I actually did enjoy Kid President’s rendition. So I’ll leave you with this:

Author: is our Spring Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.

The VPM Blog

How do we know blogging regularly works? Because Verge Pipe Media began as a blog and grew into East Alabama's first HubSpot agency partner, that's how!

Join us as we share lessons learned, best practices, thoughts on leadership in the social media and mobile world of today and more.

Worried about missing something? Sign up for our monthly(ish) newsletter and you'll get to see the best of the best delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Popular Posts

Posts by Topic

see all