It all started with a drunk basketball fan in 1980s New York. Then at the end of January 2013 a vlogger known as Filthy Frank posted his own version on YouTube, which was picked up by a group of Australian high-school students.
Now, it is everywhere.
The Harlem Shake has been imitated hundreds of thousands of times on the net, and probably millions of times in student union bars, offices and bars in just about any country with an internet connection.
The Harlem Shake began as the ‘Al B’, named after Albert Boyce, who performed his arm-flailing dance during the half-time break in basketball matches at Harlem’s Rucker Park, circa 1981. His style came in part from his heavy consumption of alcohol. The ‘Al B’ then grew a following around Harlem, before spreading to neighbouring districts.
Its migration beyond Harlem brought it the name ‘Harlem Shake’ and it remained very much a local phenomenon until 2001, when a New York-based hip hop artist featured it in a music video.
Slowly but surely it came to the attention of more and more people until BANG, Filthy Frank took it to YouTube with the music supplied by an American DJ called Baauer (the original heavy bass track was released with little success initially in August 2012).
Filthy Frank’s video caught the attention of the Australian students. It was they who brought in the Harlem Shake as we know it: a lone dancer in a room of uninterested people, then a jump cut and bass drop to a room full of Harlem Shakers.
The world took it from there…
- 1Orthodox Jew ‘repeats’ Jerusalem Gay Pride stabbing attack
- 2Migrant crisis becomes hot political issue in Britain and France
- 3Ukraine: Civilians killed in shelling amid fragile truce
- 4Palestinian toddler killed in ‘terrorist’ arson attack, says Israel
- 5Greek PM suggests party referendum to overcome split in Syriza
- 1Greek PM suggests party referendum to overcome split in Syriza
- 2Russia vetoes UN resolution to try suspects in MH17 crash in Ukraine
- 3What’s gone wrong with Rome?
- 4MH370: wreckage found on island ‘almost certainly’ from Boeing 777
- 5Missing MH370 flight : Plane wreckage washed up on Reunion Island is tested
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russia unveils ‘straight’ flag, internet responds
- 3Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 4Greek crisis: ‘Agreement reached’ after marathon talks
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 7[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 8Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 9Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 10French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 11Latest News Bulletin
- 12International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 13BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 14Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 15Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 16At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 17Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 18‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 19Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
- 20Varoufakis resigns after Greek referendum
Latest world news
US Marines face a reduction in numbers in the debate over defense cuts
French ferry workers burn tyres to block Calais port
Suspected Malaysia Airlines debris en route to France for inspection
Revenge calls as Palestinian boy dies in ‘Jewish settler’ arson attack
UK-France migrant crisis: Cameron pledges sniffer dogs and fencing
Wires > News
- 18:51 CET Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish PKK militant targets in northern…
- 18:49 CET Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion’s killer
- 18:48 CET Al Qaeda in Syria says detains U.S-trained rebels
- 18:45 CET In a Yemen hospital, malnutrition menaces young lives
- 18:25 CET Charleston suspect enters temporary not guilty plea to hate charges
- 18:00 CET Four Indians held near Islamic State stronghold in Libya, two freed
- 17:39 CET Palestinian toddler killed in West Bank; Jewish arsonists suspected
- 17:12 CET Fresh U.S. sanctions show Washington is deepening confrontation -…