If you want to examine everything that’s right and wrong with the American approach to “EDM,” grab your magnifying glasses and take a long, hard look at the journey that Baauer’s been on over the last four years.

For many, the first introduction to Baauer’s biggest hit, the bombastic “Harlem Shake,” wasn’t from its Mad Decent co-sign via a free release on their Jeffree’s imprint in May of 2012. Instead, it was almost one year later, in February of 2013, when the instrumental was used as the soundtrack to a comedy sketch of four men dancing in ridiculous costumes. That video turned into a viral sensation, leading to birth of the “Harlem Shake” meme, and at one time, 12,000 “Harlem Shake” videos were uploaded to YouTube... and watched over 44 million times. At the same time, Billboard and Nielsen added YouTube streams to their rankings, revolutionizing the impact that viral songs had on charts like the Hot 100. That eventually turned the millions of video streams featuring “Harlem Shake” into a No. 1 single (and a Billboard cover) for Baauer, almost a calendar year after that song was released for free on Mad Decent’s SoundCloud. Diplo admitted to Rolling Stone that the success of “Harlem Shake” ultimately saved Mad Decent, and said that they “were going to fold because we couldn't figure out how to make money. Then we just started giving music out for free and it worked out."