Roc Nation rapper J. Cole is the latest hip-hop artist to add life and show off his impression of the infectious “Harlem Shake” dance.
The unexpected footage of Cole Harlem shaking started circulating online this weekend.
Everybody’s doing it. Now J. Cole gets in on the “Harlem Shake” craze. During a visit to Atlanta’s Streetz 94.5, the “Power Trip” MC joined DJ Holiday in the studio for a fun performance of Baauer’s viral sensation. In the video, Cole disguises himself in a clown’s mask while others rock guitars, party hats, and even a Harry the Hawk costume. Cole is currently in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, celebrating the second annual Dreamville Weekend, which includes a book club reading session, roller-skating party, and a dinner with leaders from the community. (Rap-Up)
Leading into the weekend, producer Just Blaze spoke up for the “Harlem Shake” anthem in light of some backlash.
VIBE.com was granted a sneak peak at Just Blaze’s exclusive interview from the upcoming episode of MTV2’s “The Week In Jams.” Hosts Angela Yee, Damien Lemon and DJ Envy talked to the producer/DJ about the success and the backlash of Baauer’s “Harlem Shake.” Just has been working and touring with the producer, and gave his take on the record. “It’s no disrespect towards Harlem, but it’s like times change, things evolve. This is the entertainment industry.” Just Blaze tells Angela Yee. ” So it’s not like the record was made to disrespect the original “Harlem Shake.” It was a vocal sample from a record, chopped up, and made the title of the song. It’s like people sometimes over think it.” (VIBE)
This week, Dipset’s Jim Jones raised eyebrows when he said the track originally belonged to him.
“Well actually, that was record mine’s for like a year,” Jones revealed in an interview. “I had that record a year ago and I never, it was supposed to be for Pauly D’s album and we never did nothing with it so when I started to hear this ‘Harlem Shake’ and I heard the beat, I was like, ‘D*mn. I had that beat already for a year.’ So I just put the [remix] record out. Yeah. … I been had that record before anybody even thought about that record. It was a record for Pauly D’s album for ‘Jersey Shore.'” (“Jenny Boom Boom”)
Despite its growing appeal, the dance has received backlash for its lack of originality.
The real Harlem Shake, a much more raw, technical, fluid, frenetic dance, was born in New York City about 14 years ago. But while some in Harlem have taken offense at the rebranding, and posted videos of their own in response, the four-man dance crew many credit as having pioneered and popularized the dance see another shot at stardom, the kind that burns brighter and longer than a 30-second parody. “I’m not a hater,” said Maurice “Motion ” Strayhorne, one of the original Harlem Shakers as part of the Crazy Boyz dance crew. “But it’s bitter in the sense of, it’s like they’re disrespecting the whole style of dancing.” (New York Times)
Check out J. Cole doing the “Harlem Shake”: