It turns out Baauer wasn't the only musician surprised by the left-field success of "Harlem Shake. The two uncredited, unpaid artists on his song were also pretty shocked to hear their vocal samples incorporated into the smash hit without their permission.
Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Hector “El Father” Delgado was especially displeased to hear his vocal refrain "con los terroristas" kick off Baauer's track, enough that he's seeking payment from the Philly trap artist for using the line from his 2006 track "Maldades."
“It’s almost like they came on my land and built a house,” Delgado—who gave up music to become a preacher five years ago—told the New York Times. But Baauer didn't mean to diss Delgado. In fact, he wasn't aware "con los terroristas" traced back to the reggaeton singer until after "Harlem Shake" took over the Internet.
Confusing matters even further, Baauer grabbed the Delgado vocal from the remix version of a 2010 song called "Con Alegria." And if you're still following this without confusion, you may want to consider a career in law.
The other artist sampled on the track—Jayson Musson of the Philly rap crew Plastic Little, who exhorted listeners to "Do the Harlem Shake" on 2001's "Miller Time"—is already working out a payment plan with Baauer's label Mad Decent and is far less pissed. Musson told the NY Times he even called Baauer to thank him for “doing something useful with our annoying music.”
Listen to the three songs that helped give birth to the "Harlem Shake" below and decide for yourself how much the final product is indebted to the source material. One thing is for sure: The Internet in 2013 is still very much the Wild West for musicians.
Hector Delgado - "Maldades" [Sample at 2:28]
DJ Gregory and Gregor Salto - "Con Alegria (Skinny Friedman and DJ Apt One Remix)" [Sample at 0:30]
Plastic Little - "Miller Time" [Sample at 3:55]