"Harlem Shake" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Harlem Shake" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Hyper-energetic Internet sensation is clean and fun.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 20 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Videos urge everyone to just have fun and go crazy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Viewer participation is encouraged.


The nearly indecipherable vocal sample apparently is a woman saying "con los terroristas."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Harlem Shake," the song used in the goofy dance videos that have spawned thousands of copycats on the Internet, is a harmless, speaker-rattling "trap" instrumental with a trademark "drop" of the beat that inspires everyone to get as crazy as possible. There's no iffy content in the song. However, since there are thousands of user-generated YouTube videos of people dancing to the song, it's possible that your kids could come across mature content as they search. It's probably best to search for videos together.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byTakeshi kim March 31, 2013

Harlem Shake is ok for any age.

I don't care what the song is about but it's a dance song.But please don't waste your 1 dollar and 50 cents on this song.Its ONLY A DANCE SONG A... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byThepotatoman23 July 1, 2015

Not the best song

While it's true that this song says "con los terroristas", I think this song is okay. Be weary that Con Los Terroristas translates to "Danci... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byRosebud95 March 25, 2013

It's a fun dance song...

But seriously - "Con Los Terroristas" (Spanish for 'With the Terrorist')? There's no real need to add that line...at LEAST say "se... Continue reading

What's the story?

Of little or no relation to the dance move of the same name popularized more than a decade ago, Mad Decent producer Baauer's \"HARLEM SHAKE\" is an electronic instrumental that's been featured in a growing number of YouTube videos that show one person dancing to the track's buildup in a seemingly normal setting -- such as a classroom or a fire truck -- followed by a sudden video cut when the beat drops, revealing a wild scene of people going absolutely nuts and dancing in the most ridiculous ways and in the strangest costumes possible. Type it into a YouTube search and you'll see there are literally thousands of user-submitted versions.

Is it any good?

The song is repetitive and not particularly complex, but it's loud and exciting and has a euphoric drop. Parents might be confused, but kids are sure to just nod their heads and go crazy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this single's popularity. Why do you think 'Harlem Shake" has caused such a firestorm on the Internet? Why is the format of the videos so fun to replicate?

  • What makes some Internet "memes" more popular and culturally relevant than others?

  • What makes the Harlem Shake craze different from other dance sensations like the Macarena?

Music details

  • Artist: Baauer
  • Release date: February 19, 2013
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Mad Decent
  • Genre: Dance/pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate