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Reggaeton artist may sue Baauer over “Harlem Shake” sample

That “Con los terroristas!” sample in the Harlem Shake apparently wasn’t used with permission.


Chase Hoffberger


The backlash over New York City DJ Baauer’s mega-popular “Harlem Shake” rolls on.

If kids aren’t getting suspended for performing the ridiculously elementary dance routine for cover videos in classrooms, retired reggaeton artists are considering lawsuits over intellectual property they believe the DJ has stolen.

Controversy over the latter began to spill out last week, when Baauer, who’s currently nursing a No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, took to Reddit to host an Ask Me Anything session.

While there, a curious redditor named KoalaYummies asked the über-hot producer where he got the sample for “the Spanish-speaking girl,” the one who proclaims “Con los terroristas” 15 seconds into the track—right at the point in all the videos when the footage blacks out and cuts back in to absolute mayhem.

Baauer told Reddit that he found the samples for the track “on the innerweb,” but we all know what happens when a celebrity leaves a vague comment like that on Reddit: them boys and girls go on and follow up.

After some prodding from Gawker’s Adrian Chen, a redditor named CristolaPared determined that, among other sections, the “Con los terroristas” sample comes not from a “Spanish-speaking girl” but from a retired Puerto Rican reggaeton artist named Hector “el Father” Delgado, who shouted the line on his late 1990s hit “Los Terroristas.”

Today, Delgado wants his recompense.

The performer-turned-born again Christian preacher turned to Puerto Rican radio Saturday to announce that Baauer made no efforts to properly seek usage rights of the “Con los terroristas” sample and that he’s considering a lawsuit against the New York-based DJ for using a recording without consent.

“I’ll leave that to the lawyers,” he added, before waxing on in Spanish about the plan God has made for him.

Even if he doesn’t decide to sue, Delgado could still stand to make a pretty penny by filing a simple Content ID copyright claim on the “Harlem Shake,” which has played out on more than 12,000 YouTube videos—many of which run advertisements—that currently total more than 100 million views.

Photo via The Sunny Coast Skate/YouTube

The Daily Dot