First Hit #1: March 2, 2013
Harlem Shake’s ascent to the top of the chart is due to precisely one reason: Including Youtube views in chart calculations. The bit of silly dance music was not there on it’s musical merits, it’s there for an odd joke that cropped up in the early part of the decade, where people would make wacky dance videos set to the song. It is, in fact, a hit song where the song has very little to do with why it’s actually a hit.
Outside of the videos though, is there anything worth listening to on its own? Well it’s got a decent build at one section, though that is undercut by the fact that it seems to be sampling an angry bear drinking a slurpee. It’s in a kind of nebulous area between goofy and annoying, and I can’t imagine listening to it on a regular basis. It serves its function, and it does work as the background for something else, but as a song on its own it just makes one wonder if Billboard’s streaming calculations might have needed a bit more work.