More than 30 years have passed since the latest craze called the Harlem Shake was perfected by a man in New York City’s Rucker Park who went by the name of AL B.
AL B — whose real name was Albert Boyce, passed away in 2006 — would entertain crowds with his dance moves during halftimes at pickup basketball games. At the time his signature move was called the “Albee.”
AL B described the move as a “drunken shake” and an “alcoholic shake.” He said he’d been doing it since 1981 and that it had a distinct Egyptian influence. “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.”
This dance move has now gone outside the confines of Harlem and New York City proper and is known as the Harlem Shake, used in the routines of the Crazy Boyz dance crew and the Uptown Shakers at the Apollo Theater.