Harlem Shakers

Harlem Shake Meme Gets the Masses into Video Production

Internet memes come and go with the wind. One minute it’s photobombing, the next it’s McKayla Is Not Impressed. The latest one is called The Harlem Shake, and it’s been so popular that even if you try to ignore silly stuff like this, you’ve likely seen that name bandied around everywhere you look. What is The Harlem Shake, exactly? The simplest explanation is to watch this video:

Deep, right? You’re still confused. What is The Harlem Shake? It’s an Internet Meme. What is an Internet Meme? It’s a fad or an idea that spreads rapidly across the Web. Two weeks ago there were zero videos about The Harlem Shake. Today, there are tens of thousands. Baauer, the artist behind the original song, went from being a Brooklyn nobody, to being a dude with an instant record deal with Mad Decent, and a hit song that debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 today. Keep in mind that this all happened inside of two weeks.

The aspect that I find interesting about this is how the meme inspired so many people to get into making a true video production. They’re not just shooting a meaningless, six second Vine about making a smoothie, they’re doing real video shoots with ideas, characters, costumes, editing and an audio overdub. How many other instant fads can claim that?

If, by chance, you’re still slightly confused, here’s what The Harlem Shake is: one group of dudes put on superhero and PSY costumes and danced around in front of a video camera to Baauer’s song. Other people saw the video, thought it was funny, and decided to recreate it themselves. This happened over and over again, until people all over the world were making their own version of the video. From one corner of the globe to the next, people are putting on horse costumes and dry humping the air, all in the name of being an idiot. And I applaud them.

It just goes to show you how many people have access to video production equipment these days, and this is one of the only occasions where most of them have used it. The question is, will all of those copies of iMovie and Sony Movie Studio go back to being dormant programs that rarely get touched? Or is this the beginning of an era where common folk routinely make elaborate video productions? I hope it’s the latter. Some of those morons are pretty good.

Published by


Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.