“The Harlem Shake” is the latest dance craze that’s taking over TV airwaves and the Internet. On Feb. 10, the news team from KSLA got in on the action when they decided to do their own version of the dance. Since then, the video has gone viral and was even featured nationally on “Good Morning America” on Feb. 12. So, just as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is fading into the sunset, “The Harlem Shake” is poised to take its place.
There are currently hundreds of videos on YouTube of people doing the “Harlem Shake.” The premise is simple. The videos are all about 30 seconds long and set to the “Harlem Shake” song by New York deejay Baauer. In the first half, one person dances while everyone else in the room goes about their business. Then, the beat drops and everyone joins in. In addition to the KSLA news crew, Jimmy Fallon joined the craze, as well as grandmas and firemen.
"The Harlem Shake" is a dance that originally began in Harlem in 1981 and went mainstream in 2001 when G-Dep featured the dance in his music video “Let's Get It." An Internet video craze started in 2013 and used the song “Harlem Shake” by Baauer. The videos usually depict a masked individual doing the “Harlem Shake” alone in front of others. At a specific point in the song, the video turns into a wild dance party featuring the entire group dancing a free-for-all.
So, can “The Harlem Shake” rival Psy’s “Gangnam Style”? The Korean rapper’s quirky and outrageously catchy hit was all the rage in 2012. Towards the end of the year, “Gangnam Style” became the most viewed YouTube video ever, topping more than one billion views. As of Feb. 12, the video has been seen 1,309,202,032 times. Psy’s instant popularity led to TV appearances on the MTV VMAs, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Today,” CNN, “Nightline” and dozens of others. During the 2013 Super Bowl, Psy even starred in his own commercial for pistachios.
Although “The Harlem Shake” continues to take TV and the Internet by storm, it has a long way to go to rival “Gangnam Style.” However, 2013 is brand new and there are many more months to go. Crazier things have happened.
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