Pop's viral sensation
The crazily cheesy music video 'Gangnam Style' opens with a beautiful young woman fanning a man's chubby face as he lies, ostensibly, in a lounger on a beach.
Dandily dressed in pink shorts and white shirt with an orange scarf draped around his neck, Park Jae-Sang looks anguished in a sexual kind of way - yes, this is possible. The camera then zooms out to reveal that he's in fact not on a beach, but in an urban park where children are playing behind him. A young boy appears next to him to dance to the Korean pop star's incredibly catchy song.
The repetitive lyrics, which at least half of the song's international fans don't understand, its catchy beat and play-along dance moves are not the only factors which have made Jae-Sang's Gangnam Style video attract 220 509 725 hits, and counting, on YouTube.
According to The Atlantic's Max Fisher, who went to the trouble of getting Koreans to comment on the lyrics, the song is a satirical "tribute" to the super-rich who live in a very affluent area of Seoul, South Korea. Apparently Gangnam has become the symbol of not only wealth and consumerism, but of income inequality in the country.
Jae-sang, 34, who performs as PSY (short for Psycho), has said the mindset of Gangnam Styleis "dress classy, dance cheesy".
Adrian Hong, a Korean-American consultant, told Fisher: "Koreans have been kind of caught up in this spending to look wealthy, and Gangnam has really been the leading edge of that. I think a lot of what [PSY] is pointing out is how silly that is. The whole video is about him thinking he's a hotshot but then realising he's just, you know, at a children's playground."
According to Hong, who watched the official making-of the video, Psy has fun on set, but at one point he stops during filming and says, "Human society is so hollow, and even while filming I felt pathetic. Each frame by frame was hollow," he sighed, apparently deadly serious, recalls Hong.
- Jae-sang has signed a deal with Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun. 'Gangnam Style' has been nominated in the Best Video category for an MTV Europe Music Award. The awards will be announced in Frankfurt on November 11.