*Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” which has spent the last three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and is the latest pop culture phenomenon, is being accused of stealing two key samples used in the tune: the voice that urges people to “Do the Harlem Shake!” and one saying “Con los terrorists.”
Retired reggaeton artist Hector Delgado and Philadelphia rapper Jayson Musson are seeking compensation from Baauer’s label, Mad Decent Records. According to the New York Times, Musson found out that his “Harlem Shake!” line was being sampled in Baauer’s song in late February. The snippet comes from the song “Miller Time,” recorded in 2001 by the group Plastic Little.
He has been in friendly talks with Mad Decent to receive compensation for the sample and he even called Baauer to thank him for “doing something useful with our annoying music.”
“Mad Decent have been more than cooperative during this,” Musson told the Times.
As for Delgado, who gave up music five years ago to become a preacher, his former manager, Javier Gómez, called three weeks ago to inform him of the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon. In contrast with Musson, Delgado is taking a harder stance about the use of his “terrorists” line, which can be heard on the track “Los Terroristas.”
“It’s almost like they came on my land and built a house,” Delgado told the Times.
Lawyers for Delgado’s former label, Machete Music, are in talks with Mad Decent over payment. Gomez insisted that Delgado will “get what he deserves. We can turn around and stop that song. That’s a clear breaking of intellectual property right.”