Artists Seek Compensation over Uncleared Samples in Baauer's "Harlem Shake"
Published Mar 11, 2013Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, chances are that you're familiar with Brooklyn beatmaker Baauer's track "Harlem Shake" and its career-making viral dance craze. Now, it seems that the DJ also known as Harry Bauer Rodrigues may have to give up at least some of his earnings from the track, since a couple of the folks he sampled in the song have come forward demanding compensation.
As the New York Times reports, the song's key phrase, "Do the Harlem Shake," was sampled from Philadelphia rapper Jayson Musson, formerly of the collective Plastic Little. Apparently, this comes from a 2001 track called 'Miller Time."
"Harlem Shake" also features another uncleared vocal sample, "con los terroristas" ("with the terrorists"), which comes from Hector El Father's 2006 single "Maldades." Hector El Father is the performing alias of reggaeton artist Hector Delgado, who is now a preacher.
Both Musson and Delgado are seeking compensation from Baauer and label Mad Decent for these samples, neither of which was reportedly cleared beforehand. Luckily, it seems that these negotiations have been cordial so far. According to the Times, Musson praised Baauer for "doing something useful with our annoying music," and noted that Mad Decent has been "more than cooperative."
Meanwhile, Mad Decent boss Diplo reportedly reached out to Delgado, and negotiations are underway. Neither Baauer nor Mad Decent has not commented on the issue.
Both "Miller Time" and "Maldades" are below.