This is officially the last post Videogum will ever publish about the “Harlem Shake,” and if we are lucky it will hopefully be the last post ever published on the entire Internet (JK, the countdown to the backlash to the backlash to the backlash to the backlash begins right after you kill yourself). We have already covered most of the pertinent information, from what the “Harlem Shake” meme is, to what the actual residents of Harlem think of it (SPOILER ALERT: nothing good!). While memes are traditionally a drop of pop cultural nonsense in a pop cultural nonsense ocean, this one actually seems to have larger implications, since Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” is currently the #1 song in MULTIPLE COUNTRIES due to the popularity of the white people doing their dance. And yet at no point in all of the developing controversy* over whether or not this is yet another example of white people carelessly appropriating (and trivializing) black culture has anyone actually shown the white people HOW TO DO THE ACTUAL HARLEM SHAKE. Until now. PAY ATTENTION, WHITE PEOPLE!
Dope though. For real. One of the doper shakes.
CLARIFICATION: I am not actually suggesting that white people start doing the real Harlem Shake. Just sit down. Read the New Yorker or whatever. Shut up.
*Not that there is any real controversy since the answer is yes, it absolutely is another case of white people appropriating (and trivializing) black culture. In this week’s earlier discussion about the racial dynamics of this phenomenon, a lot of commenters took the position that even if it was a case (it is) of white people appropriating and trivializing black culture, they didn’t think it was that big of a deal. HEY GUESS WHAT! That’s not really the argument. Whether or not you personally think that it is a big deal is a question you have to look deep inside yourself to answer, I guess, but even if you think it is not a big deal it doesn’t change that it is what we are calling it (appropriation/trivialization) and your argument that even so it is not a big deal to you seems like a very counter-productive way of de-clawing the larger discussion, as if the larger discussion is not even worth having, which I say is bunk. The larger discussion is ALWAYS worth having. No harm comes from HAVING the discussion, but much harm does come from PRETENDING THE DISCUSSION ISN’T IMPORTANT. On a sidenote: another commenter said that they felt that we as a culture still struggling with our complicated racial history (and present) were often handling ethnic/minority cultures with kid gloves. UH, OK, AND SO WHAT? Like, considering how much ACTUAL BLOOD has been shed in this country and how many generations of human lives have been lived under GENUINELY DEEP DARK SHADOWS OF FEAR AND OPPRESSION, I think handling things with kid gloves from time to time is literally THE LEAST WE CAN DO. Naturally, it was a white person who thought this was an issue.
Like much of what Kanye West does, his headlining set at Glastonbury was already a huge fucking deal before it even happened. Over 134,000 British fans signed a rockist/racist petition to “Cancel Kanye West’s headline slot and get a rock band,” and after Kanye’s (literally) explosive set at the BRIT Awards — which ITV had… More »
The 2015 BET Awards are happening tonight, co-hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater. Just one day after performing at last night’s BET Experience event, Kendrick Lamar opened the proceedings with an explosive performance of “Alright,” the newest single from To Pimp A Butterfly. He brought along a whole crowd… More »
Nathan Williams and Dylan Baldi officially announced their collaborative album back in March, but we knew that a release was kinda-sorta imminent a year before that. The record was recorded and produced by Sweet Valley (Williams and his brother Joel) in Williams’ Los Angeles home during two sessions between 3/16-3/26 of last year and 6/1-6/10… More »
The surviving core members of the Grateful Dead played the first show of their Fare Thee Well tour on Saturday night in Santa Clara, CA, and a rainbow appeared over Levi’s Stadium during an extensive rendition of “Viola Lee Blues” at the end of their opening set. While many fans likely believed that the rainbow… More »
Morrissey is one of those performers where, if you get the chance, you go. Maybe because you’ve seen videos or heard about the man’s transfixing stage presence, or maybe because you know about the intense relationship between his fervent fanbase and himself, and that there’s a sort of necessary pilgrimage in being a Smiths or… More »
Morrissey made a big deal about Madison Square Garden going vegan for his show over the weekend, but it turns out the arena wasn’t completely meat-free. According to a Gothamist tipster, corporate suites were serving meat products. Photos from the concert show a sushi platter, meatball sliders, brisket sandwiches, and chicken fingers being served the… More »