Uncleared Samples in Harlem Shake

by Nikolozi Meladze

Long story short, Baauer's Harlem Shake gets big because Harlem Shake meme goes viral on YouTube. And then, according to NY Times:

“Harlem Shake” has been at the top of the Billboard 100 pop chart for three weeks and as of Friday had sold 816,000 digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It benefited from a recent change in Billboard’s methodology to include YouTube views along with radio airplay and singles sales in its ranking.

And now that the record has made a lot of cash, “Con los terroristas” and “Do the Harlem Shake!” vocalists, Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson respectively, are seeking compensation.

Everywhere on the internet I see comments like “And that's why you don't use uncleared samples kids!” But I disagree. The lesson to be learned here is that sample whatever you want or inspires you. If the produced record gets big, deal with the royalties later. Thinking about legalities of the sample is probably the worst way to lose inspiration and motivation to finish the track.