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…
- 1United Arab Emrates leads way with planned mission to Mars
- 2Afghanistan wedding party ends in massacre
- 3Growing tension over new Turkish military offensive in Syria and Iraq
- 4Kurdish women fighting ISIL on the frontline
- 5Fires: thousands in emergency shelters as huge blazes take hold in France and Spain
- 1Protests erupt in Turkey and Iraq over Ankara’s operations against IS and Kurdish militants
- 2Clashes erupt at al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem
- 3Turkey defends strikes on PKK and ISIL in Iraq and Syria
- 4Anger over ‘slaughter of 250 pilot whales’ in the Faroe Islands
- 5Turkish strikes on PKK in Iraq put peace process at risk
- 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
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 6Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 7Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 8Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 11Latest News Bulletin
- 12BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 13Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 14French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 15‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 16International news | euronews, latest international news
- 17At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 18Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 19Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 20Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
Latest world news
Afghanistan wedding party ends in massacre
Fires: thousands in emergency shelters as huge blazes take hold in France and Spain
Kurdish militia in Syria reportedly captures strategic town from ISIL
Red-hot bargain: ‘Blood for discount’ tickets at Transylvania festival
The Balkans: Another route for migrants seeking a new life in Europe
Wires > News
- 04:57 CET Malaysian media report PM to drop deputy after 1MDB criticism
- 04:24 CET Boy Scouts lift blanket ban on gay adult leaders, employees
- 04:18 CET South Korea declares country effectively out of MERS danger
- 04:05 CET U.S. House Benghazi panel says State Department to hand over…
- 00:45 CET Libyan city Benghazi plunges into darkness as fighting hits power…
- 23:44 CET Turkey, U.S. aim for zone cleared of Islamic State in northern…
- 23:38 CET U.S. softens view of Malaysia, Cuba in human trafficking report
- 22:04 CET Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of making threats to neighbours