The craze going around the Internet, the “Harlem Shake,” cannot be blamed on the people making the videos but on the first person to create this recent trend! Most of you Hip Hop heads both young and old, wait one second before you make any judgments. As The Root’s article states, “…”Harlem Shake” didn’t receive mainstream attention until a comic called Filthy Frank used the song for a YouTube video that has now received more than 4.6 million views since it was posted on Feb. 2. Frank and friends donned Power Rangers suits and did their own herky moves to the frenetic pace of the song, really going nuts when the biggest beat drops. The genuinely silly video went viral almost instantly, and within a week there were countless copycat videos filmed in offices across America.”
We can’t really put blame on the people putting these videos out because, IN ALL HONESTY, they are having a good time doing it! This doesn’t mean I don’t believe in giving respect to the original dance and creators of such, but people are having fun and we hope to inform the masses on the real Harlem Shake. To be honest, some of them are REALLY funny and we all need a good laugh everyday.
Whew…hope you are still reading! In any case these creators and originators of the dances must be recognized, we cannot lose our history because of a trend and we must bring the next generation up in the right way!
Now let’s look at the real history of the Harlem Shake. The Root, once again, in the article shares the real history of the dance create by Al B from Harlem. It says, “…Hip-hop fans knew that the dance they were seeing in these new videos was not at all like the Harlem Shake dance that has been around for more than 30 years. Al B, a man who used to dance during breaks at the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park in Harlem beginning in 1981, has gotten much of the Internet credit for inventing the original Harlem Shake, a dance characterized by wild jerking of the arms and upper body. At one point, it was referred to as the “Albee.”
In a barely comprehensible 2003 interview with basketball website InsideHoops.com, Al B says the dance originated with mummies in Egypt, who shook because they didn’t have freedom to use their limbs. “It was a drunken dance, you know, from the mummies, in the tombs,” he asserted. “That’s what the mummies used to do. They was all wrapped up and taped up. So they couldn’t really move, all they could do was shake.” (THE ROOT)
As seen above, the Harlem Shake can be deemed a cultural dance representing a community throughout all of the world. It’s not so much a culture as it is a dance that did inspire movies, dances, music, and much more. The Root says, “Credit for bringing the first Harlem Shake into national households might be due to dancer and choreographer Moetion, who taught the moves to dancers for 2001 videos by G Dep (“Let’s Get It”), Eve (“Who’s That Girl”), and Jadakiss (“Put Your Hands Up”) — though he is reportedly from the Bronx, N.Y. A trailer to a documentary that may or may not have ever emerged called Shake Down,featuring Moetion, popped up online in 2006. In the clip, Moetion acknowledges that Al B may be recognized as doing a form of the dance in the 1980s but makes a case that he actually brought it to the masses.”
The lesson to be learned from all this Harlem Shake trend is really study out the history of Hip Hop dance and give respect to the creators. ONE LOVE.
How to do the REAL Harlem Shake
Finally, put into perspective what Strife.TV posed as a question, “Let’s say a DJ put out a song called Breakin’, or Bboying, or Breakdance. And it viraled out into a bunch of kids twitching and dancing like crazy people, which would then start a trend. How would you feel?
And on the flip side, what if someone who has never heard of bboying and started something called bboying because it meant something else to them?”