Harlem Shake needs to get out of the lime light


In February 2013 the most horrible music trend since Gangnam style hit viral popularity. It’s only thirty seconds and barely qualifies as a dance but the Harlem Shake has been disrupting people’s regular facebook stream and popping up on thousands of Facebook pages. Everyone from Stephen Colbert to retirement home residents to Bellevue East students have made their own Harlem Shake video and the trend needs to stop.

Sure, for every 1,000 videos uploaded, one will make someone chuckle, then continue watching the thousands of horrendous videos. Unfortunately the few good ones are not worth the thirty seconds worth of awkward dancing and bass drop.

There is only one video of all the Harlem Shakes that is worth watching and that is the underwater Harlem Shake, and that isn’t even for entertainment value. The fact that they are standing underwater dancing with random items and helmets like they are up in the normal air is impressive.

Unfortunately all the other Harlem Shakes are 15 seconds of air thrusting then a random crowd jumping. The videos have literally shifted from somewhat legitimate dancing to jumping and throwing your arms around like an upright seizure. Crazy costumes of the first few Harlem Shakes have been replaced by street clothes and random shirtless guys.

To top off the Harlem shake madness, the original song is supposed to be six times longer than all the videos YouTube suggestions have been shoving down our throats. Sure you have a choice but every time you turn on to YouTube it seems like it’s only suggestions are that annoying dance. That leads to the obvious question what is the rest of the Harlem Shake song?

It can’t possibly be endless bass dropping and a man shouting, “Do the Harlem Shake.” But yes it can, and it is. The Harlem Shake by DJ Baauer is an endless frenzy of of bass drops and techno vomit being forced into the viewers ears. Instead you get the treat of hearing the most repetitive song in the world with only three different words while trying not to picture a random guy in a speed air humping a plastic giraffe.

What truly tops the horrible cake of the Harlem Shake is that respectable shows have given it their attempt. Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America and The Today Show have all made Harlem Shake videos. Now not only are friends posting Harlem Shake video but moms are now turning around from the TV and asking us about what’s happening.

The Harlem Shake isn’t worth it. It’s annoying and the good ones aren’t better than the others. As I type, ten more 30 second clips of dancing and beat dropping will be uploaded to YouTube, and like most of the others, they will be just as horrible.

But the one thing that people can take comfort in is the fact that soon (very soon) the Harlem Shake will become obsolete and the world can relax again.

Until the next cringe-worthy craze comes.

Candi Bolden
West Wind Editor-in-Chief