I know, I know, we’ve all heard this song already. PSY and his Gangnam Style, horse-dancing madness have reached 260 million people on YouTube, or at least 1 million people have watched it about 260 times. I know the Woolseyites have added about 50 views to that total, and from the live concert versions I’ve seen, there are about a million Koreans at every concert. The guy’s a hit, and the song is irresistibly fun to dance to (thank goodness videos of ShuaiBaJ’s birthday haven’t been released), but the satire and goofiness in his videos made me think he was a bit more than the average meat-head pop star. I got my answer after a bit of research, and I couldn’t help sharing it with my Bostonian Babes, Mrs. Stabbarific and Mr. Architorture.
PSY, born Park Jae-sang, is from South Korea, is 35 years old, and graduated from both Boston College and Berklee College of Music, obviously not the typical K-Pop megastar material. He never imagined international fame when he first pursued his dream to create a Korean pop star out of his goofy, chubby self, using his musical knowledge of the pop formula. He gained some following right away with his bold lyrics and outrageous style. He was actually fined during the release of his first album for “inappropriate content,” and his second album was banned from youth under 19 years old. He continued on the path of moderate popularity, becoming known for his antics as the “Bizarre Singer.” Finally, he teamed up with YG Entertainment in 2010 as K-Pop took off, and in 2012, they knew the Korean masses were ready for Gangnam Style. I’m always a sucker for the pop stars who seem to know and even embrace that their music is ridiculous, so, PSY, you’ve won me over.
Now for some fun facts about Gangnam Style and PSY:
- Gangnam is a wealthy, trendsetting district of Seoul, Korea. Referencing “Gangnam style” in the song is PSY’s stab at the rich Korean attitude, which is characterized by overt confidence and the motto: you only live once (so you can do whatever the f&% you want). Oppa, of “Oppa is Gangnam style,” loosely translates to big brother.
So, you know, Big Brotha is Gangnam Style…..!
- PSY created a spin off song and video with the “hot” girl from the subway scene in his video, who is actually the K-Pop star, Hyuna. Apparently, she likes it Gangnam Style. This video offers her more annoying vocals and very pleasingly short skirts.
- PSY’s song Champion was the hit song during the 2002 World Cup games in Seoul (#3 on the PSY 3 album). Is he saying “nigga” in the chorus??
- knowyourmeme.com is working on their Gangnam Style meme video, which should be a real hoot. Keep yours eyes out meme-followers.
Oh, K-Pop. Thanks for the memories.