“Harlem Shake” is a song recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer. It was released as his debut single on May 22, 2012, by Mad Decent imprint label Jeffree’s. The uptempo song incorporates a mechanical bassline, Dutch house synth riffs, a dance music drop, and samples of growling-lion sounds. It also samples Plastic Little’s 2001 song “Miller Time”, specifically the vocal “then do the Harlem shake”, which is an allusion to the dance of the same name. Baauer added a variety of peculiar sounds to the song so that it would stand out.
The single did not begin to sell significantly until February 2013, when a YouTube video set to its music developed into an Internet meme of the same name. The media response to the meme helped increase the single’s sales, as it charted at number one for five consecutive weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number three in the United Kingdom and number one in both Australia and New Zealand. During the song’s chart run, Billboard enacted a policy that included video streams as a component of their charts.