|‘Gangnam Style’: best pop song ever|
|Written by Erin Hogg, Daily Vidette Columnist|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 11:33|
“What is that dance he’s doing?”
“What is he even saying?”
“Why is he on the toilet?”
These are just a few of the reactions I have heard to Korean pop artist Psy’s “Gangnam Style” song that debuted a few months ago. I first found it online through reddit shortly after it was uploaded and have since shamelessly watched the video over 100 times. Now at over 220 million views, “Gangnam Style” seems to be everywhere. From the “Today Show” and “Saturday Night Live”, to the Video Music Awards, to Ellen teaching the dance to Britney Spears, it seems this song is not only making its way into mainstream media, but also being received with open arms.
Of course, I love the music, the choreography and the artist, but unbeknownst to most listeners, this song and video have several hidden messages that once known, can make the listener love it even more.
Many of the scenes in “Gangnam Style” are filmed in locations around the Gangnam district in South Korea. The area is very affluent, wealthy and materialistic. The music video begins with Psy being fanned on what appears to be a beach on a hot day.
However, as the camera pans out, it is revealed that he is only on a children’s playground. Later, he is being shown in horse stables and then on a merry-go-round. I would suggest that the merry-go-round is real and he is only imagining himself in a horse stable because that is reserved for the wealthy.
Psy then meets a love interest, who is K-pop star Hyuna, in a subway station that transforms into a gigantic, chic club. All of these images are something out of his imagination and act as a social commentary on South Korea’s materialistic culture.
The lyrics translate to a story of a man wanting a woman who is good and innocent during the day, but can get wild at night. This can also be compared to the Gangnam district itself.
Some of the sillier parts of the video include a dance-off in a parking garage and an awkward elevator ride with a gyrating man whose face cannot be put into words. These two characters are actually prominent comedians in Korea and good friends of Psy. Most of their parts were ad-libbed.
After the video went viral, many parodies were made, including some from universities, the U.S. Navy and even one made of sliced clips taken from a movie about Hitler. All in all, it is safe to say “Gangnam Style” has arrived in a very big way.
For K-Pop fans, it is a great sight to see a favorite artist hit the mainstream music scene like no other K-Pop star before. Even though many consider this song to be untraditional K-Pop, it is still a huge step for Psy because of his colossal and sudden worldwide popularity. Personally, I am obsessed with this song and have shown the video to nearly everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis.
For once, I feel like there is a party anthem-type song that I can truly love. It’s a perfect replacement to any LMFAO or other American pop song and also bridges the cultural gap between so many languages. Maybe ISU should make its very own “Gangnam Style” video.
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