Though this is not the first case of mainstream culture appropriating a popular hip hop dance, it is certainly one of the more laughable occurrences. In case you’re in the dark when it comes to viral videos, the Harlem Shake dance craze is causing a frenzy on the internet with athletes and even supermodels rushing to record home videos and join in on the fun. The only problem? No one is actually doing the Harlem Shake.

The Harlem Shake is a dance where you rhythmically move your shoulders up and down while shaking your forearms on beat. In these popular videos, people are just thrusting their pelvises into the air in a move that couldn’t be more different than the original.

DJ ?uestlove recently shared a Youtube video uploaded by Schlepp Films that features street interviews with Harlemites about the imposter Harlem Shake. The result is brilliant:

Reactions vary from utter disbelief to claims that the thrusting move is disrespectful. Now that Harlem has spoken out against the fraudulent dance, can we agree to end the craze altogether, or atleast give it a new name?

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  • omfg i’m sorry but everybody getting offended is stupid as hell. the SONG is called “harlem shake” by a dj named baauer! they’re not trying to DO the actual harlem shake, that’s just the name of the song. sheesh!

    people act like these are music videos for the song. NO! it was just a random song that somebody used when they were doing silly random stuff for youtube and it caught on.nobody is saying that it’s the harlem shake. unfortunately people will associate this video trend as being the harlem shake, the but harlem shake was simply the name of the song used.

  • Kami-D

    When I first heard it, I said the same thing…”Where’s the Harlem Shake?” (didn’t particularly say it like that but for interpretation purposes it’ll stay so)

    I’m not from Harlem, but I understand these ppl. And I definitely don’t find it silly that they are upset. What I see in the future is that this dance being defined as a Harlem Shake and the original one which I am sure has significant cultural meaning being forgotten.

    If you go to someone today and tell them do the Harlem Shake, I’m sure w/o a doubt it’ll be the ‘Harlem Shake’ that is going around in these videos.

    God forbid some new kid on the block brings an opera song (no offense to opera) and says it’s R&B, and ppl start refering that to R&B, i’m sure ppl will be a little more understanding.

    (far-fetched example I know, but this is not a parody, it’s not a modification or an extension or an improvement of the original, that’s kinda my point )