Watch: Harlem Reacts to the Harlem Shake

By: The Huffington Post Email
By: The Huffington Post Email

(The Huffington Post) - Harlem isn't too happy about the "Harlem Shake." (Video at end of article)

Filmmaker Chris McGuire decided it was time to ask the people who actually live in the Manhattan neighborhood what they thought of the viral dance.

He posted up near 125th Street with a camera and handed passersby an iPad playing some of the earliest incarnations of the meme by Filthy Frank, The Sunny Coast Skate, and Philon Nan.

Harlem's biggest objection to the Harlem Shake phenomenon? It's not the Harlem Shake. (This is the real Harlem Shake.)

"People on West Fourth Street would do that!" one young man tells McGuire of the dancers in the videos. "Nobody in Harlem would do that!"

"That's sh*t's kinda bugged out," another man says, a look of disgust crawling over his face. "That's definitely not the Harlem Shake."

As Mashable points out, we're surprised it took someone this long to think about asking Harlem what they thought of the meme, seen performed by everyone from NFL draft prospects to the hosts of the Today show.

We asked McGuire what inspired him to make the video and he responded via email:

"I actually made a "Harlem Shake" video about 5 days into the trend. Was probably about the 50th one made. It is called Harlem Shake v420 (Stoner Edition). I was trying to get in on the fun. And it was fun.

Then I began researching it a little bit and discovered that the Harlem Shake was a whole other thing. I learned that it was a long-standing tradition in Harlem and that what people were doing had nothing to do with it. I wanted to add to the conversation.

I felt like someone who had sinned, and saw the error of his ways. As such, I decided to let the people of Harlem tell the world what they thought.

Given that the name 'Harlem' was part of this huge trend, and their dance the 'Harlem Shake' was their dance, I wanted to see what their perspective was.

It was pretty universal. They thought it was crap and had nothing to do with the dance or culture that they so proudly identified with."


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