WHEN HIP-HOP (doesn’t) HAPPEN

THE HARLEM SHAKE – NOT!!!!

The internet has been all a buzz this past week over all of the amusing video spoofs folks have been posting in celebration of Baauer’s Harlem Shake.

Okay, a part of me can give the new “Harlem Shake” and its viral meme, a giggle and a look of amazement over all of the international attention this barely danceable techno hit is receiving.

Ooh, look there are Playboy bunnies doing it and a military unit from Norway is doing it and even a doctored version of the Peanuts doing it was crafted from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

So okay let’s give it a millisecond of our attention and a hearty, “LOL” in the colloquial terms of the day.

But on the Hip-Hop side of things all I can say is: “Ha, ha, hell!?!”

I really stopped laughing last week when iTunes announced that this crappy, rip-off had reached the top of Apple’s “Top Songs” list a mere nine-months after the song was released by New York Producer Harry Rodrigues. To make matters even worse, a 30-second video snippet of the “Shake’ went viral and YouTube reported that more than 4,000 meme videos were being uploaded each day last week.

Yo, this ain’t the Harlem USA based, “Shake” or anything anyone better ever mistake for my beloved street based art form – no that ship sailed a longtime ago.

It was released in the midst of what I refer to as: “Hip-Hop’s platinum” era by the multi-millionaire producer who did kind of invent and re-define the modern manifestation of the industry, despite an annoying: “ah ha, yeah” – here and there.

Probably in his fourth or fifth manifestation at the time, Puffy joined with Black Robb and G. Dep, in 2001 and produced “Let’s Get It,” which with the help of great video dancers, will forever be tied to “The Harlem Shake.”

While this current “dance craze” has caused scores of internet viewers to flap around like a desperate fish out of water, it has made me do something I’ve never done before – actually appreciate and kind of miss Sean “Puffy” Combs.

Actually, P. Poppa Diddy Pop has been hard to miss during the past decade.

He hawked his brand of liquor – Ciroc Vodka, managed and produced flash-in-the-pan groups like “Diddy Dirty Money,” made really, really,  bad reality television and seemed to torture us with the creation of Skank Rock in a few summers back with Ke$ha and her “musical stylings,” just for shits and giggles.

But, just when you could say you hadn’t peeped the brother in a second, here comes this pseudo rip-off.

Its emergence, and the internet memes that followed, has really caused me to make a call to the bullpen and ask for the very talented Mr. Combs to come running across the outfield grass


Now, the original, like any Puffy produced song, was nothing short of GREAT!

The looping of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” was a genius that only Puffy, yeah, I said Puffy, could have heard and pulled off. And then there was the Harlem Shake – a short-lived dance craze that was highlighted throughout the song’s video and made even a wallflower like me want to chop-it-up on the dance floor (you know, I didn’t of course…)

It was a great song and an even better video at the end of an era when that really meant something.

However, the indifference that had arisen around the Bad Boy brand and what it had done to the concept of Hip-Hop caused me to push it away too quickly.

Afterall, songs like – “One Mic” and “Purple Pills” were hot at the same time, so overlooking a slick, can’t miss track from the owner and operator of the Hip-Hop payola machine, was easy. The underground was way more authentic and interesting.

However, today, when MC’s are singing and using voice modulators to deliver what used to be that good ol fashioned “boom bap” ‘ish, I have to admit, this industry either needs an enema or at least a great rhyme produced by one of the best the world has ever seen.

So Puff, don’t let this Philly transplant steal the thunder you created more than a decade ago – haul that ass into court!

Here at Boom Bap Radio, we don’t even care what you do Puff, but we beg you to do something.

Hip-Hop it, remix it , but by all means “bring that beat back!”

Your genius is diminished every time someone even utters “Harlem Shake” and it’s not something tied to you.

I thought you told us that you won’t stop?

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Masta Talka

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