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There might be hell in Harlem over Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” dance craze, but Diddy sees the viral sensation as a victory for his hometown.
“It’s fun; it’s a fun version. Any time people are dancing, especially in this day and age when everybody’s trying to be so cool, and people are letting loose, letting off some steam, I agree with it,” the Bad Boy music mogul told MTV News on Wednesday while he was out in Los Angeles with Mark Wahlberg at their AQUAhydrate launch.
Baauer’s kinetic dance hit, which was originally released last year, hit it big recently after a string of infectious viral videos featuring plenty of jump cuts of fans frantically dancing in motorcycle helmets and other wacky costumes. Because of its newfound popularity, the track has amassed over 100 million clicks on YouTube and became the #1 song in the country last week.
Not everyone is thrilled about this new “Harlem Shake,” however. The dance, although seemingly unrelated, borrows its name from another dance that is widely credited to Harlem native Al B. As the story goes, Al B first did the drunken-yet-more-rhythmic shake during street basketball games at the famed Rucker Park on 155th Street back in 1981. The original Shake caught fire in the late ’90s and became all the rage after G-Dep and Puff featured kids doing the coordinated moves in the music video for their 2001 single “Let’s Get It.”
In a recent YouTube video published by Schlepp Films, Harlem residents sound off against the new Shake, and on Monday, upcoming Harlem rapper Vinny Cha$e also questioned the validity of the new-fangled shimmy: “People that never been to Harlem, thinking that’s what the Harlem Shake is, and that’s so far from what that is,” he told MTV News on Tuesday. “Puff brought to the forefront, and it just blew up from there, and Jadakiss and all of them.”
The way Diddy sees it, the new dance is all about having fun, and he’s ready to support anything that promotes Harlem in a positive light. “I do want people to get educated on the real Harlem Shake, it’s something that’s an art form, but anything that’s branding Harlem, my hometown, I’m all for it,” he said before pitching his latest product — after all, he is a businessman.
“You gotta have AQUAhydrate in your Harlem Shake video if you make one. After you do it, you’re going to need some hydration,” he said.
Have you posted your “Harlem Shake” viral video yet? Let us know in the comments!