The Submerging Marriage of Two Subcultures: Vogue and Bounce


I literally just stumbled across the greatest thing, EVER, during a routine Sunday night Google search.  And what do I see?  A picture of some of my faves together.  Big Freedia, a legendary New Orleans Bounce artist and Kassandra Ebony and Leiomy Mizrahi, also two legendary figures of the infamous Ballroom/Vogue Scene.  The beautiful thing about this is that, NOLA Bounce and the Ballroom Scene are worlds apart in artistic comparison, but so very similar in cultural form.  And to see that people of both communities have come together is very monumental, on so many levels.  Kind of makes me feel emotional.

The picture is from a Masquerade Ball that occurred in early May centered around bringing together artists and dancers from these two distinctive emerging cultures to showcase their talent in an artistic exchange through a competition.  Our good people at OkayPlayer were lucky enough to document this night of splendor and miraculous fun, and you could just sense the majesticness of the event in the video.  So Avant-Garde, dark and raw.  I also love the historical and personal commentary given by Mother Jack Mizrahi and the way in which everything gelled together within this mini-documentary.

I refuse to say anything else, but that I am so happy to see two former underground cultures created by people of color in America rise to the forefront of American culture and be acknowledged the way it has been in the new millennium.  History was made this night and it is continually being made, the more we share and accept the diversity amongst each other, the more profound our experience of life will be.  All in the name of art.  Do yourself a favor and watch the video below, prepare to be blown away.  #Magical

Harlem World Reacts to the ‘New’ Harlem Shake

Last week, I began to see a buzz on Twitter and throughout the net that, lo and behold, some one resuscitated a classic dance from the dead, and that the Harlem Shake had been brought back to life.  So I went to Youtube to see one of the TRILLION (No, I’m serious) remixes/videos of this “new” craze to see what it’s hitting for.  And nearly 15 seconds in I say to myself, “THIS AIN’T THE HARLEM SHAKE!  LET ALONE, A NEW YORK STYLE HIP-HOP BEAT!”.

This craze has literally taken over the internet like never before.  You have people uploading videos every second, worldwide, showcasing their take on the shake.  But what I’ve been thinking to myself all along is, what do the dear people of Harlem, New York, USA think about this?  Because as old as the original dance is (in the GIF above), it was very original and classic.  Even here in Cincinnati, everybody in 8th grade was trying to jig to this new sound and Hip-Hop dance.

So the good people at Schelpp Films went to the streets to hear the real voice of Harlem to get their opinions on this fanatically, awkward phenomenon that’s going on.  And I’m telling you, I’ve watched this video so many times, and I enjoy it more and more each time.  You gotta love New Yorkers, their reactions are priceless!

So what’s your take on the new Harlem Shake?  I say, shout out to Bauuer, the producer of this new track, but it is nothing more than a dance beat.  It doesn’t stand a chance to G-Dep’s “Let’s Get It” or the many other songs from the 2001-2003 era that had everybody rocking; the original Harlem Shake was a movement.  It was Hip-Hop and authentic.  But I don’t know so much about this.  Share your thoughts.