"Harlem Shake" (CD Single) Music Poster Image

"Harlem Shake" (CD Single)



Hyper-energetic Internet sensation is clean and fun.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Videos urge everyone to just have fun and go crazy.

Positive role models

Viewer participation is encouraged.


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

Not applicable
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Release date:February 19, 2013
Label:Mad Decent
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Harlem Shake" (CD Single) was written by

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Kid, 10 years old March 3, 2013

Not bad.

This song is not my favorite, but it's not bad at the same time. Fine for kids (7-8) and tweens (9-11). Contains a small reference to violence, but this song is about having fun.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byFlaming Pencil March 11, 2013

Worst song of the Decade!

An outstanding failure that reveals an embarrassing lack of understanding, this "song" makes rap music sound like classical music. It is nothing except beeps and blips, not to mention some pointless samples ("then do the Harlem shake.."). Baauer, whose name cannot be pronounced correctly, has created an atrocity capable of destroying mankind. If you are a human being at a computer, which you appear to be, do not buy this song! I don't care how old you are, do not dance to this "song," and whatever you do, do not buy this "song!"
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old March 25, 2013

Relatively Harmless

This is really a harmless song (I hope). I mean, evidently, it says "con los terroristas", which, unless it isn't obvious, translates to "with terrorists". A. That's almost impossible to understand and B. kids won't even know what that means. BTW somebody posted a review on this that was in all caps and very extreme, I found that to be obnoxious. P.S. Half the videos have at least one person in their boxers or underwear in the backround, so videos vary.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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