Being older than dirt, all I knew about “Gangnam Style” is that it had something to do with a viral music video on YouTube. Because the video has fueled various takeoffs and parodies, some of them political, I figured it was time to see what it was all about.
PSY – Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
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“Gangnam Style” (Korean: 강남스타일, IPA: [kaŋnam sɯtʰail]) is a K-pop single by South Korean musician PSY. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. “Gangnam Style” debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. As of December 4, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 884 million times on YouTube, and is the site’s most watched video after surpassing Justin Bieber’s single “Baby.”
The phrase “Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture since then.
“Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed “class.” The term was listed in Time‘s weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul’s Gangnam district. Psy likened the Gangnam District to Beverly Hills, California, and said in an interview that he intended in a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be “Gangnam Style” when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class.People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are—it’s only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are “Gangnam Style”—so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something that they’re not.
The song talks about “the perfect girlfriend who knows when to be refined and when to get wild.” The song’s refrain “오빤 강남 스타일 (Oppan Gangnam style)” has been translated as “Big brother is Gangnam style,” with Psy referring to himself; “Oppa” is a Korean expression used by females to refer to an older male friend or older brother. During an interview with The New York Times, Psy revealed that the Korean fans have huge expectations about his dancing, so he felt a lot of pressure. In order to keep up with expectations, he studied hard to find something new and stayed up late for about 30 nights to come up with the “Gangnam Style” dance. Along the way, he had tested various “cheesy” animal-inspired dance moves with his choreographer, including panda and kangaroo moves, before settling for the horse trot, which involves pretending to ride a horse, alternately holding the reins and spinning a lasso, and moving into a legs-shuffling side gallop.
From Urban Dictionary:
(Warning: Urban Dictionary is NSFW because of over-the-top language on the site.)
- A Korean song written by Korean singer Psy.
- “Gangnam” means “south(nam) of the river(gang)” in Korean. In this song, the “river(gang)” is the Han River, which penetrates the City of Seoul, capital of South Korea. The northern part of Seoul(gangbuk) has been the capital of Korea since the early 15th century. Development of Gangnam and expansion of Seoul started in 1970s. Gangnam is the icon of the rapid economic development of South Korea in 1970s and 80s. Mostly benefited from skyrocketing real estate price followed by planned economic development, Gangnam has become the most wealthy area in the entire South Korea. “Gangnam” is being regarded as the place where people are rich, girls are pretty and everything is supposed to be cool.
I’m not rich enough to have fun in Gangnam Style.