Real Harlem Hates the “Fake” Harlem Shake

February 20, 2013 | Samer Kalaf

It’s only natural that in this stage of the progression of the Harlem Shake meme, someone would go to Harlem and find out what its residents thought of the ersatz Harlem Shake. Surprise! They think it’s stupid and weird, because when you put your name on something and that something looks like “humping,” as one guys puts it, people tend to get mad. As one old guy succinctly says, “They look like they just smoked some dust.”

Let’s try to break down the context here. The song “Harlem Shake” was created by Baauer, who sampled Jayson Musson’s line “do the Harlem Shake” from Musson’s track. At this point, the actual Harlem Shake is twice removed. Then, Baauer’s song was used to create the actual meme, so at this point, no one is even thinking about the actual Harlem Shake. The genesis video of this meme did not attempt to do the actual Harlem Shake. No one is trying to replace the original Harlem Shake.

The only thing in common with the real Harlem Shake and the Harlem Shake meme is the name, and that’s where the misinterpretation occurs. But because the fickle internet has such a short attention span, the Harlem Shake meme will be on its way out in a couple days, brought up in nostalgic conversation like planking or Tebowing (so, it won’t be). No one will forget the real Harlem Shake. But before we cast this meme into the great meme farm in the sky, can someone tell me whether or not this washing machine is doing the real Harlem Shake?