No one could have expected the “Harlem Shake” to blow up to the prodigious scale it did — from YouTube virility to the top of the charts. The success of Baauer’s ubiquitous single not only spawned a thousand internet spinoffs, it also incurred a lawsuit for copyrighted samples against Mad Decent. Both Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson pressed the label for compensation over the track’s use of unlicensed samples. Diplo, as the head of Mad Decent, has come to aid of the label’s blossoming trap star, settling the legal dispute with Delgado and Musson and clearing the “Harlem Shake” samples.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Diplo said: “We didn’t know there were any samples in the song to begin with. But when it came to clear the samples – because otherwise he would make negative money – we wanted to help him out.” And Diplo has done just that, coming to terms with both Delgado and Musson.
Hector Delgado, reggaetón artist turned preacher, is the voice of “con los terroristas.” Diplo remarked: “The Puerto Rican guys, they kept calling me because I know everyone in Puerto Rico, so I just sorted that out. It wasn’t even them, it was Universal Publishing.”
In regards to the now-notorious “do the harlem shake” sample, Diplo had to clear the sample rights with Jayson Musson of rap group Plastic Little. “Jayson was in a band called Plastic Little and he hit us up and said the album never got licensed or published, so we just cut a deal where he could make some money off that,” said Diplo.
While Baauer’s namesake was certainly on the line, Mad Decent was undoubtedly incentivized to protect their label’s biggest single to date. As Diplo candidly remarked to the Huffington Post, “Honestly, that record was the thing that saved the label, because a year ago we were going to fold because we couldn’t figure out how to make money.. Then we just started giving music out for free and it worked out.”
In any case, Baauer and the rest of the internet can now resume doing the “Harlem Shake” without fear of legal interference (although you’d be a bit belated to jump on the meme now).
Via: Huffington Post