PSY’s “Gangnam Style” Demonstrates Music Without Borders

Arts Entertainments

Let’s call it PSY syndrome. With his new song “Gangnam Style”, South Korean rapper PSY has turned heads on the internet. “Gangnam Style”, which started in South Korea, is spreading fast, intoxicating music fans around the world with the song’s funky beat and comical dance moves.

The “Gangnam Style” music video has gone mega viral since its release a month ago, logging around 60 million views on YouTube at the time of this writing.

PSY (real name Park Jae-Sang), 34 years old, a bit chubby, and happy to laugh at himself and others – this is the K-Pop star who seems to be taking the world by storm.

According to the description of the video on YouTube, this was all destined to happen. “The song is characterized by its strongly addictive rhythms and lyrics and is therefore sure to penetrate the foundations of modern philosophy.” Quite a statement, but perhaps not too far-fetched, considering how obsessed we’ve become.

The music video begins with PSY daydreaming in a beach chair at a playground. He yearns for a “radiant and electrifying girl” who is “tender and big-hearted” during the day but, at night, her heart becomes wild and fiery.

Dance in a subway station, by the river, on top of a modern building, and even in a public restroom, a far cry from the Beverly Hills lifestyle.

Thanks to PSY, everyone is talking about Gangnam, the most luxurious district in Seoul, and wondering where, or what, it could be.

PSY’s meteoric rise to internet stardom hasn’t gone unnoticed by other celebrities. According to ABC News, both T-Pain and Josh Groban tweeted about the singer’s viral success, and PSY’s management company claims that Justin Bieber has shown interest in collaborating with the artist.

Many pop music experts in South Korea say the song is more in the style of American pop music than Korean, mixed with electronic dance beats from the world trend of pop music.

PSY then combined the music with humor, an easy-to-mimic dance, and a key characteristic of K-pop music: an addictive chorus. In the song, the chorus, “Oppan Gangnam Style” is repeated many times.

The singer, who attended Boston University and Berklee College of Music, rose to stardom with his debut album “PSY from the psycho world!” in 2001. But he soon began to falter after being fined for smoking marijuana.

He temporarily regained fame when his new songs “Champion” and “Celebrity” were huge hits the following year, but another hurdle awaited him.

He was embroiled in lengthy legal debates over allegations of draft evasion. In 2007, the court ordered him to serve in the army for another 20 months because he neglected his work as an alternative to compulsory military service from 2003 to 2005.

South Korea requires all able-bodied men to serve in the military for at least two years, but those with a technical background can work in companies that serve vital national interests.

After being discharged from his second round of military service, PSY signed a contract with YG Entertainment in 2010, came back with his fifth album “Right Now” and found success once again.

As a star who experienced many twists and turns in life, PSY must be a man “who knows something”, as he states in the lyrics of “Gangnam Style”.

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