Psy’s Gangnam style- a K-pop sensation
On the 15th of July, 2012, Psy (A South-Korean rapper) released his new single “Gangnam Style” through his YouTube page. This song has become an internet sensation, going viral, accumulating over 200 million views to date and receiving a reign of the YouTube music charts.
The main reason it’s become so popular, besides its humour, catchy riffs and dance moves, is its sharability factor. What seems interesting about this is the trend behind many bizarre videos like this becoming viral. This includes Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, Double Take’s “hot problems, and even videos which aren’t necessarily music videos, such as “Nyan Cat”. This element of popular western culture may have emerged from the upcoming popularity of using social media as a platform for sharing not only what you “you had for breakfast” but also videos like this. Easy sharing enables the discovery of the best from all around the World, without which it would be nigh on impossible become viral, or even remotely successful, using simple talent. This would also make the hilarity of eccentricity more amusing, as it doesn’t take a conscious judgement of talent.
What has taken Gangnam style to another level, however is the fact that celebrities have embraced the craze. For example, Kyle performed the chorus dance routine at one of her shows. Numerous have tweeted about it, with T-pain being the first. Robbie Williams, Josh Groban, Katy Perry, Vanessa Hudgens, Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacrest, LMFAO, Scooter Braun, James Corden, Darren Criss to name a few have shared the video.
The song is also one of the only videos to receive international success in spite of very little english spoken within it. The riff of the song which includes the words “Oppan Gangnam Steil” translates to English roughly with “Girls, Gangnam style is your big brother”. “Gangnam” is actually the name of a district in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. This is used in the riff to say that Gangnam is (or at least the “Gangnam style”) is a privilege. That’s funny, a rap in another language with a completely different theme and it’s purpose is still to brag. Typical hip hop.
“K-pop” (an abbreviation of Korean pop) has been a music genre for a significantly long period. It’s main characteristics consist of with less-modern electronic samples, such as the ones used in many songs back in the 80s by artists such as the Pet Shop Boys. Although the genre was already somewhat widely known outside Korea, “Gangnam Style” has risen a lot of awareness towards it. It could potentially be compared to the amount of attention Skrillex’s “Scary monsters and nice sprites” has contributed to the dubstep scene, with the exception of the humorous direction taken in “Gangnam Style”.
Overall, the cheesy Nintendo theme song style instrumental along with eccentric dancing displayed in the chorus (and parts of the video) is exceedingly entertaining. Likewise the creativity and originality is delivered with excellent class.
Or the authors: @tsirkis and @karandahele.