It's safe to say that pretty much everyone is aware of the Harlem Shake Internet sensation by now. In less than a month's time, the meme has spread to every corner of the web. The videos' absurdness makes people either laugh or cringe, but what most people miss is the song itself. The song makes the video, yet it's rarely discussed. The song has taken a backseat to insanity that ensues when the beat drops halfway through the video.
Regardless, some credit has been quietly given where it's deserved. Producer Baauer's song spawned an Internet sensation and in turn has earned the DJ some warranted attention from those who aren't too distracted by the dancing colorful mobs.
The song's pounding funky beat is caught somewhere between house music and hip-hop. It has the hard driving, sweaty dance inducing power of house music, but also keeps an open, choppy rhythmic feel that's reminiscent of hip-hop. It falls into a new genre of music called trap, a subgenre of electronic dance music, and Baauer's "Harlem Shake" may be the first to introduce the genre to the mainstream.
The song was released last summer and slowly accumulated views up until February, when the track's popularity exploded. Since then, his tour with producer Just Blaze has almost completely sold out. The song has reached No. 1 on iTunes, and between all the uploaded Harlem Shake videos, has generated over 40 million total views.
Baauer, aka 23-year-old Harry Rodrigues, is blown away by his sudden fame, trying to adjust to his new status in the music industry. He's made few public comments concerning the Harlem Shake craze, but several Twitter posts prove his excitement and bewildered amazement.
On Feb. 9, as the meme started picking up steam, he posted "this is fu***** nuts." And then on Feb. 12 he posted "this harlem shake stuff is blowing my mind."
The producer has kept a remarkably low profile since the meme began, and although the dance craze started almost entirely without his direct involvement, he's still responsible for the Harlem Shake mania. Big things are on the way for Baauer, as well as the trap and the entire electronic dance music movement.
Here's the full version of Baauer's "Harlem Shake"