PSY: Pumping up the adrenaline ‘Gangnam Style’
I love PSY.
No, seriously, I love him. In this day and age where K-pop is largely about pretty boy/girl idols, nice clothes and fail-proof hit songs; PSY is one of those artists who isn’t afraid to be all about the music… and all about the crazy.
Remember his over-the-top dancing in a fake abs suit in ‘Right Now’? It was madly entertaining with great music at the same time. Killer. I was thrilled when YG decided to sign this talented hip-hop guru on back in 2010, because if there’s anyone who can back up the enthusiastic and I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude of PSY – it’s definitely Papa YG. Thank you for fully supporting PSY and his music – the world thanks you!
‘Gangnam Style’ is the title track off PSY’s sixth album ‘Psy 6甲’, which is intended to mean ‘the best’ and has high-prolific artists featured on each track, including BIGBANG’s G-Dragon and hip-hop duo LeeSsang. The MV doesn’t have any particular direction, as with his usual brand of zany comical antics, but it’s honestly impossible to hate. It’s filled with bright colours, random featured guests, off-the-wall rodeo dancing, horses, popular host Yoo Jae Suk, HyunA… you get what I mean, right? What’s to hate? I just can’t.
Also, for those who aren’t aware, Gangnam, derived from Gangnam-gu, is one of the most affluent areas of Seoul and also home to loads of businesses. The MV is meant to show off the luxury lifestyle of a man with wealth and fame, but instead of coming off as showy, it’s more funny and endearing than anything, which is exactly why I adore it.
It’s hard to decipher this MV because it’s not meant to be evaluated that way, so let’s just break down a couple of my favourite moments instead:
With the amount of artists he has featured on his album, as well as the various guest appearances in ‘Gangnam Style’, you can more or less tell how much people love this guy. He might not be your run-off-the-mill K-pop star, but people in and out of the industry love him exactly for that. They might not have a proper role in the MV, but that’s just it – they’re not meant to. They’re all just in for the big bash. Just look at the ultra cool grannies he has dancing along with him in that disco-decked out bus scene:
Musically, this is the perfect summer hip-hop track to add on to our playlist (which includes LEDapple’s ‘Run to You’ and SISTAR’s ‘Loving U’). Not one to lose out to his hoobaes, ‘Gangnam Style’ has a strong electronic instrumental with incredibly catchy beats, which makes it perfect to get up and dance to. Unlike most songs that use stylised vocals and auto-tuning to accompany it, PSY raps-sings throughout, his vocals a perfect contributing factor to why the track’s such a refreshing change from recent releases.
The lyrics of the song are geared toward PSY professing that he’s a fun-loving ‘Gangnam style’ dude to a girl he likes, because who doesn’t like a man with moolah right? An example of the lyrics: ‘I’m a guy who seems calm but plays when he plays, a guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes, a guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles. That kind of guy.’ They aren’t meant to have any literary profoundness since the main focus is on the party-esque music, which I’m completely fine with, since the simple lyrics make for easy singing along to.
There’s no terribly hard choreography in this MV, but how genius is that rodeo cowboy move? Granted, probably only PSY and HyunA can work it like they do in the MV (I look horrible doing it. Yes I tried) but it’s wildly addictive. In many ways, the flash mob scene in ‘Gangnam Style’ reminds me of the Wonder Girls’ ‘Like This’. While I’m not sure how long this is meant to stay in trend, I’d really rather a huge party of people dancing over another clubbing scene, so two thumbs up for everyone in PSY’s posse.
And because we’re sure that no other MV will be as amazing as this for quite a while (Simon and Marina of popular K-pop MV review site eatyourkimchi.com are literally begging viewers to vote for ‘Gangnam Style’ for their next Music Monday review), for now, everyone please chant with me:
“OPPA GANGNAM STYLE!”
Join the party below!