Two weeks ago, few people had ever heard New York producer Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” a frenetic dance thumper stuffed with trancy synths and lion roars that was released last May. But now that the track has gone viral thanks to its ubiquitous meme-status, it’s gained legitimate traction on the chart.
Yesterday, Baauer climbed all the way to the top of iTunes’ all-genre “Top Songs” list, and despite the fact that “Harlem Shake” has been temporarily displaced by One Direction’s “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks),” it’s still ahead of powerhouse sellers like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” and Rihanna’s “Stay.” Plus, once the Directioners have all bought their fave boy band’s song, which should take approximately an hour, “Harlem Shake” will likely return to No. 1.
It’s unclear whether sales for “Harlem Shake” are driven by buyers who want to use the song to make their own 30-second-long videos (earlier this week, YouTube reported that over 4,000 “Harlem Shake” videos were being uploaded every day) or if they’re true fans of the song, which does fit into the current wave of EDM and super-producer/DJ-driven pop.
When EW reached Baauer’s reps, they said he was not interested in commenting on the meme, which got its start on Jan. 30 when vlogger Filthy Frank included it at the top of a compilation video. Three days later, he isolated the “Harlem Shake” portion of the video. It has since received nearly 10 million views. READ FULL STORY »