Just when you thought you’d heard the last on the re-boot of the “Harlem Shake”, a monkey wrench in the form of lawsuits may have the man behind the meme shaking his pockets. Apparently, DJ Harry Bauer Rodrigues, aka Baauer, failed to get permission from two artists he used on the dance track.
Hip-hop artist and painter Jayson Musson is a member of the Philadelphia group Plastic Little, and in 2001 rapped the line “If you bring a 40 oz. bottle to battle me/I’ll just punch you in your face/and do the Harlem Shake,” in their song Miller Time.
You can hear the infamous “and do the Harlem Shake” at the 3:54 mark:
Musson told The New York Times that he learned his voice was being used on the track in February and has been in contact with Baauer’s attorneys and record label:
Mr. Musson said he called Mr. Rodrigues and thanked him for “doing something useful with our annoying music” Still, he said that he was negotiating with Mad Decent over compensation and that, though no agreement had been reached, the discussions had been friendly.
Then there’s retired reggaeton artist Hector Delgado, who’s now a preacher in Puerto Rico. Delgado was shocked when his former manager, Javier Gomez, called to let him know he heard Con los terroristas on Baauer’s meme-hit. Delgado’s 2006 single Maldades, from the album The Bad Boy, is where Con los terroristas originated. “It’s like a trademark of Hector’s,” Gomez said.
Delgagdo is also seeking compensation for the unauthorized use of his voice. His former manager told The New York Times that Baauer’s record label has been cooperating. “Hector will get what he deserves,” he said. “We can turn around and stop that song. That’s a clear breaking of intellectual property rights.”