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Harlem Shake vs. Harlem Shuffle vs. Harlem Nights

27

February

Harlem Shake? It's all the buzz now on the Internet, but surprisingly it's not some lame sequel to an '80s movie. (That actually might be preferable.) Instead it apparently is a song by Baauer, whoever the heck that is. Still, when I hear "Harlem," the 9-year-old version of me wants to shout Globetrotters. The '80s version of me, however, wants to compare it to the Harlems of the '80s.

HARLEM SHAKE
Pros: Refers to dance from Harlem introduced in 1981. Even Nascar star Jeff Gordon, who ought to be stuck in the '80s, does it with his pit crew.
Cons: Like most songs today, it barely qualifies as actual music.
Ruling: Like the Macarena, this too shall pass.

HARLEM SHUFFLE
Pros: Originally a song recorded in 1963 by Bob & Earl, it had new fame in 1986 when the Rolling Stones covered it on their album Dirty Work.
Cons: Sampled in House of Pain's 1992 hit Jump Around. Plus, of all the Stones songs of the '80s, this might be the most irritating. (And I say that knowing how bad Emotional Rescue was.)
Ruling: At least the MTV video was amazing.

HARLEM NIGHTS
Pros: Eddie Murphy starred in the 1989 film along with Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx.
Cons: Eddie Murphy stopped making great movies in 1988; he was nominated for worst director at the Golden Raspberry Awards for his work on the movie.
Ruling: It was still a financial success and starred three generations of African-American comedians. Take that, Baauer, whoever you are.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:21pm]

    

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