Harlem Wisdom Shake – Get Your Origins Straight!

For everything there is a definite origin. Whether it is a music player, an airplane, a popular expression, a fashion trend, or even a hamburger – as the years go by, there will be many derivatives, but there is always one original. People often search for that original foundation – which is where it all started and came from. For example, the fruit juice that is on your breakfast table came from the supermarket, which came from a manufacturer, in which the manufacturer purchased fruit from a farmer, in which the farmer harvested fruit from the land, in which the land came from the earth, in which the earth came from the Universe, in which the Universe came from where? Some may even question, where did man come from?

But without getting carried away with anything too deep, have you seen the Harlem Shake memes these days?



As you may know the Harlem Shake meme has recently been flooding the internet around the world, bringing millions, even billions of views, to the video-sharing channel – Youtube. The craze started when five Australian teenagers recorded a comedy video called “Harlem Shake,” which hit hundreds of millions of views in less than one month.



Despite the many comic video clips that portray a counterfeit version of the dance, the original Harlem Shake was actually called the Albee dance, founded in 1981 by a Harlem, New York resident of the name of Al-B. “Al B – full name Albert Leopold Boyce – died of heart failure in 2006 aged 43, after years of drinking heavily… He used to perform it as part of the half-time entertainment show in basketball tournaments at Rucker Park, New York” (The Independent). To Albee, it was a feel-good jig that was danced under the influence of alcohol, and therefore called the “drunken shake.”

The dance became mainstream in 2001 when G. Dep had featured the dance in his music video, “Let’s Get It.” In 2006, DJ Webstar and Young B feature a shake that has emerged from the Harlem Shake, in the music video “Chicken Noodle Soup”



InsideHoops.com interviews the original Harlem-Shaker, Albee who opens up about the new boogie that today’s pop culture has taken advantage of.

InsideHoops.com: You’re known around here as the founder of the Harlem Shake, which has spread far and wide. For starters, introduce yourself.

Al B: My name is Al B. That’s all I can say for now. I’m from Harlem, and the Harlem Shake came from Al B. It’s a drunken shake anyway, it’s an alcoholic shake, but it’s fantastic, everybody loves it and everybody appreciates it. And it’s glowing with glory. And it’s respected. But if we could mystify it, and become historian, about this Egyptian jazz…

InsideHoops.com: Okay…

Al B: Pharaohs invented this thing, with spears, and hats, and gowns. And so, it becomes a subject of being communicative to the system and to realization, if you get my drift.

InsideHoops.com: I feel you. Tell me more.

Al B: Well the Egyptians were recycling and very prosperous. And all different types of subjects – tin, copper, gold, diamonds, sapphires, rubies.

InsideHoops.com: And as for the Harlem Shake, did you first do it here, with the music playing in between games?

Al B: Yes. It was a drunken dance, you know, from the mummies, in the tombs. That’s what the mummies used to do. They was all wrapped up and taped up. So they couldn’t really move, all they could do was shake (laughs).

InsideHoops.com: The mummies as they were lying down but trying to get back up…

Al B: Trying to get up, all they could do was shake.

InsideHoops.com: And when did you start it, and when did other people catch on?

Al B: I’ve been doing this since 1981. It just came into effect in the 90’s. In the 90’s it just came into effect, everybody just caught on. Because they had all types of kind of dances out.

InsideHoops.com: Who caught on first, EBC?

Al B: EBC, right.

InsideHoops.com: And it spread.

Al B: It spread to all the parks, and all the picnics, and all the areas, museums, and, you know. Biologically.

InsideHoops.com: How do you feel when you hear people give you credit for it?

Al B: It’s beautiful. I have no animosity over nobody. I’m not jealous, I don’t have no money. It’s not the money, man, it’s principal. You know. Long as you behave yourself and you having fun, and you ain’t no jailbird, you can have fun. You can do whatever you can do, right?

InsideHoops.com: Absolutely.

Al B: Absolutely.

InsideHoops.com: The key to life is feeling good…

Al B: Feeling good…

InsideHoops.com: …And having fun.

Al B: Even you don’t have no money.

InsideHoops.com: A few times people have said that maybe someone can put you in a music video, which might be cool, do you care about that, or not really care about that?

Al B: I don’t care about that. It’s no adversary to me. I do it to have pleasure. I double the fun like double the pleasure.

InsideHoops.com: There you go.

Al B: See what I’m saying?

InsideHoops.com: I see what you’re saying.

Al B: You see what I’m saying?

InsideHoops.com: I see what you’re saying.

Al B: Hey, I’m not jealous of the next guy that’s doing it better than me. Listen, as long as I’m having fun.


Finding the origin or the source of everything is a great way to understand something – whether it is the Harlem Shake, your favorite candy bar, or the history of your family. Even finding the root source of your mind can lead to you being able to control your emotions and stress on a daily basis. The source of your depression, anxiety, worries, or loneliness – the root is within your mind, and is your homework to find it – with wisdom!