By Janella Polack, Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta, California
Amidst the Instagram pictures and back-to-school related statuses on your Facebook news feed, you notice several posts showing off a dancing chubby man, clad in a tuxedo and sunglasses. I’m not one to be thrown off by what the K-Pop industry brings to the table, but this summer a K-Pop single on steroids was unleashed to society, causing more Internet junkies to be swept away in its infectious, brainwashing beats.
As though LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Los del Río’s “Macarena” had a baby, Korean rapper PSY’s “Gangnam Style” is the most ridiculous song Korea has yet to offer, and, unfortunately, is as infectious as Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe.”
“Gangnam Style” is a satiric take on pop, KIIS-FM music, joking about misogyny, parties and money, and mocking the Gangnam district in Seoul, the “Beverly Hills” of South Korea. With its mindlessly catchy tune and foolish “giddyup” horse dance, the single’s music video on Youtube received over 200 million views ever since its mid-July premier.
Tweets, posts and parodies regarding this musical epidemic have flooded the Internet, maybe more so than the video itself. Even Justin Bieber wants to work with PSY to produce a remake of the hit single – though let’s be honest here; PSY’s “swag” levels are far beyond the Bieb’s. The other day on Ellen, the rapper was teaching Britney Spears his trademark dance.
Despite the prevalence of K-Pop fans extending to countries like the U.S. – according to AsiaOne, Asia’s leading news and informational mall, 47% of PSY’s views and popularity have come from our country – it is atypical for the genre of music to be featured internationally.
The Gangnam craze creates a misconception towards Korean pop society, and it’s bothersome how this hit single has become the newest fad with a ridiculous amount of popularity, but does not accurately show or reflect true K-pop since it is just a satire. It’s a shame how the American mainstream public is so fascinated and obsessed with music that mocks its own genre.
Google groups such as BigBang, 2NE1, and SHINee and listen to the differences and similarities between their music and that of PSY. The bubble-pop, sugary-boy aspect of it all might throw you off, but after a few songs it becomes addicting. Those who are just being introduced to K-Pop because of this song, are being given a false representation as to how K-Pop really is. These people watch and interpret “Gangnam Style,” as if thinking, “This foreign music is so abnormal! Who knew their music was like this?”
I constantly wish that people would calm down and desist their “party rocking” and “giddyup”-ing to PSY’s musical plague. Although the song brings K-Pop to a more international public eye, it doesn’t promotes the underrated genre and ultimately does nothing for informing more people of South Korea’s music.the original article from hsj.org, written by Janella Polack