Arts and Culture

Baauer: How hyped should we be?

This past Thursday, Programming Council announced via the Wheaton Wire website that the Spring Weekend performer for next month will be Baauer, an American DJ and record producer. He is most famous for his song “Harlem Shake.”

Baauer is relatively new to the music industry, releasing his debut album Aa on March 18 of this year. He has worked on remixes and collaborations with several big name artists like Pusha T, Nero, M.I.A., Rustie and Novelist. A majority of his music is bass and house music.

So far, Baauer has found success in making strong connections with already stable artists who work in similar music genres. Although his solo work is also strong and distinctive, the songs that have gained the most traction so far are his collaborations, save for “Harlem Shake.”

However, “Harlem Shake” was not the first of its kind at the time of the song’s release in 2012. The meme that followed the song was appropriated from a dance originally called the Albee that was introduced in 1981 Harlem. The dance was featured in a G. Dep music video and became viral from there.

Since Baauer’s song became a trend and meme for the next several months after its release, it ultimately overshadowed the history of the Harlem Shake as a dance originating within the black Harlem community. So, for me (and I’m sure for many others), the inevitable performance of “Harlem Shake” will be one that a lot of us will pain our ways through.

Besides this, his music is not necessarily anything incredibly definitive, as should be expected with house music. There are, however, some shining songs within the rubble. “Temple,” featuring M.I.A. and G-Dragon, and “Day Ones,” featuring Novelist and Leikell47, are evocative, explorative and vastly different from other works on Aa. Baauer truly tries to pay homage to all featured artists’ styles in his collaboration projects, and that is admirable.

“GoGo!” is probably the most exciting solo song off his album, which slowly evolves similar beats over the course of the song. “One Touch,” featuring AlunaGeorge and Rae Sremmurd, although not on his new album, also pays homage to different genres and is composed effectively.

So, should we be hyped? We’ve had bad luck with Spring Weekend performers in the past. But Baauer is a very good bet for a very good show.