The song's success inspired New York rapper Azealia Banks to release a downloadable freestyle over his beat, which she released to SoundCloud on February 14, 2013. Bauuer was less than enthusiastic about the unsolicited remix, and had it removed from Banks' SoundCloud, resulting in a Twitter argument between the pair. Speaking with the The Daily Beast
, Baauer explained that he had planned to release a version of the song with Banks quite a while ago, but when her verse wasn't up to scratch, he decided to go with with the instrumental version of the song. "She laid something on 'Harlem Shake' and it was so/so. Didn't love it," he said. "And that was a little while ago, and since all this video stuff happened, our plans all changed. Because of that, we decided to just release the song on its own with no vocal version. So we told her, 'Please don't release your version.' And she said, 'Well, I'm going to put it online anyway.' And we said, 'Please don't. We'd really like it if you didn't.' And she did."
Banks responded by tweeting: "You don't belong in hip hop ... you don't even know what a f---ing Harlem Shake even is."