Co-creator of the Harlem Shake, Jesse ‘Smiley’ Rutland, was killed in New York
By Sound Check
January 22, 2018
Jesse “Smiley” Rutland, who helped propel the Harlem Shake dance craze that took over the world in the early 2000’s, was killed in his home last month.
According to The New York Daily News, Rutland was shot at his home in Brooklyn Dec. 10, while his children were home. He was taken to a local hospital, and pronounced dead the next day.
Rutland was a member of the Crazy Boyz Dance Crew, who helped revitalize The Harlem Shake dance, which Al B. created in the 1980’s. The Crazy Boyz Dance Crew were famous for developing the upper-body-gyrating motion used in the dance.
The dance went on to be referenced and performed by acts like Missy Elliot, Bow Wow and Nelly. According to Vibe, Co-founder Maurice Strayhorn a video of the group reuniting on stage with Eve recently, along with more information on Rutland’s passing: “His 6 year old son attempted to revive him and ran out in the snow seeking help from a neighbor… Unfortunately my beloved beautiful brother passed away at 8:30a.m. at Kings County Hospital Sunday Morning.”
Kumar Reid was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and weapons possession in connection to the crime.