Harlem Shake: Compensation Sought by Hector Delgado, Jayson Musson

Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013 11:09 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Two artists who say bits of their work are sampled in "Harlem Shake," the song behind the Internet dance craze that's evolved into several viral YouTube videos, now want compensation.

Former reggaeton performer Hector Delgado and rapper Jayson Musson claim Baauer, the American producer behind "Harlem Shake," used pieces of their songs without permission, the New York Times reported.

Delgado and Musson are seeking compensation from Mad Decent, the record label that released the song last summer. Delgado, now an evangelical preacher in Puerto Rico, claims it's his voice saying, "Con los terroristas," at the song's opening. The phrase was reportedly the refrain on his 2006 single "Maldades."
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Musson claims it's his voice that announces, "Do the Harlem Shake," which he says is from the 2001 song "Miller Time" by Plastic Little, Musson's former rap group in Philadelphia.

Baauer, whose real name is Harry Rodrigues, has yet to comment publicly on the claims, but Musson told Rolling Stone the record label has been working with them.

"Mad Decent have been more than cooperative during this," he said.

"Harlem Shake" has held the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the past three weeks. The song has inspired thousands of viral YouTube videos, including entries from the Miami Heat basketball team, the University of Georgia men's swim team, and the Norwegian army. The dance has been spoofed on "The Simpsons" and "Saturday Night Live."

The first 15 seconds of most of the videos feature a single dancer flailing around before Musson's voice commands, "Do the Harlem Shake." At that point, chaos erupts as the group dances around in crazy costumes.

Baauer's song is unrelated to the "Harlem Shake" dance move that originated in the '80s hip-hop culture.

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Related stories:

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