Any hip-hop head knows that the original Harlem Shake—a dance popularized by artists like G. Dep and Sean “Diddy” Combs in the early 2000s—consisted of a lot of frantic shoulder throwing that looked like you were having a seizure. See: the videos for “Let’s Get It” and “Special Delivery.”
Does it matter that another artist is now appropriating it for the mainstream? Some Harlem residents say yes. The “Harlem Shake” song (and experience) took on a life of its own thanks to YouTubers, celebrities and media re-creating it.
Check out some of the comments from Harlem residents, per the New York Daily News.
“I have not heard of anyone from Harlem who likes this. It’s not us. It’s not our thing… It has nothing to do with Harlem.” —Jaylene Clark:
“It’s corny. It’s tacky. We can’t keep anything. We can’t even keep our dances. This has nothing to do with the Harlem Shake… Too much has been stolen from Harlem and this is another example. It references nothing about Harlem. It’s unfortunate. It really upsets me.” —Kai Heath
“Anyone in Harlem would never do that. They need to take the proceeds and give it to Harlem.” —Harlem dancer and choreographer Walter Steele
Photo Credit: Mashable