I saw that phrase being thrown around Facebook, Twitter and the general interwebs a lot recently. It was like the secret password for an underground society -- something that sounded meaningless and innocuous unless you were part of the club. As one friend put it, "This Harlem Shake I keep hearing about; that's like a smooth chocolate milkshake, right?" Close enough.
Little did I know the pain and mental anguish that I would experience by acknowledging this meme. After all, another term for something becoming a meme is something going viral. And the Harlem Shake truly can become a viral infection of the mind. Once you get the music and the images in your head, it's almost impossible to get them out.
So, much like most people do with viruses, I'm going to spread this one around to all of you, my faithful readers. But I'm going to present it in the most historically accurate way possible.
The origins are fuzzy, but it seems that the Harlem Shake started in early February 2013 with this video:
That was odd enough, and may have gone viral on its own, but then a group of buddies from Australia decided to do their own version of the Harlem Shake as a video reply shortly thereafter:
And a meme was born. Suddenly small groups of friends and large corporations across the world were downloading this relatively unknown song by a relatively unknown musical artist named Baauer and creating their versions of the Harlem Shake. Just to give you an idea of how big this trend is (and how ashamed you should feel for not knowing about it),"On February 10, the upload rate of Harlem Shake videos reached 4,000 per day. As of February 11, about 12,000 versions of the popular Internet meme had been uploaded to YouTube, garnering over 44 million unique views. As of February 15, about 40,000 Harlem Shake videos had been uploaded, totaling 175 million views." -Wikipedia
Yeah, it's that big. And since there are so many examples of the Harlem Shake, I've decided to post a few favorites here on the blog so you don't have to wade through the rest of them -- you'll thank me later.
So here are a few of the best Harlem Shakes out there.
Norwegian Army Version:
Office Edition v3:
UGA Men's Swim & Dive Version:
And my personal favorite version:
Love it or hate it, this internet sensation is sweeping the nation, and I wanted to get this post up before the Harlem Shake was done. I learned my lesson with Gangnam Style, memes rise fast and fall even faster.
In fact, it's probably not even worth it to make my own version of the Harlem Shake, right?
. . .I'll go get my camera, meet me at Fudruckers in one hour. Bring your own horse head costume.
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