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Gangnam style

Proponents have praised, celebrated and sometimes over-evaluated the scope and influence of Hallyu, while skeptics have questioned its substance and durability. Delighted, many South Koreans seem to believe that Hallyu is not only real but now truly global and an indication of Korea's growing "soft power". However, while Gangnam Style and Hallyu are intertwined, it is an over-generalization to assume that the global success of Gangnam Style means the global success of Hallyu, partly because of the complexities of the Hallyu phenomenon and the uniqueness of Gangnam Style itself. In this essay, I will reconsider the Korean Wave in light of Gangnam Style through a discussion of the complex nature of Hallyu and the factors behind the music video's US success and its ramifications for the Korean Wave. The emergence and growth of Hallyu are related to the tremendous transformations in Asia and the world in the second half of the last century. Rapid globalization, the expansion of global capitalism, technological developments, changes in media and new social formations all created fundamentally different topographies. In the latter part of the 20th century, in the face of sweeping globalization, nation-states were engaged in new nation-building processes, and regionalization in various realms — economic, political and cultural. In pop culture, consuming and circulating regionally produced entertainment became prevalent, partly because of new global marketing strategies. Transnational media companies divided the world into several markets in which both Western and regional products were offered in order to increase profits. In Asia, the establishment of Star TV is a good example of this regionalization strategy.
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A K-pop and dance-pop song, the term "Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song received mixed reviews, with praise for its catchy beat and Psy's amusing dancing which has itself become a phenomenon in the music video and during live performances in various locations around the world. The song and its music video went viral in August and have influenced popular culture worldwide.
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The music video of " Gangnam Style " by recording artist Psy is currently the eighth most viewed and the fifth most liked video on YouTube , as well as the 19th most disliked. It was directed by Cho Soo-hyun. The music video was filmed in Seoul for 48 straight hours. The video was premiered on July 15, and was later made available to download digitally on October The music video is directed by Cho Soo-hyun, who also directed the music video for Psy's follow-up single " Gentleman " and the music video for " This Love " by Shinhwa. He wears several distinctive suits and black sunglasses with a mindset of "dress classy and dance cheesy". It features a "skewering [of] the Gangnam image" by the "non-Gangnam Psy"; this parody would be recognizable to viewers familiar with Korean culture. The sauna scene, elevator scene and bathroom scene were filmed elsewhere in the greater Seoul region , [8] and some shots were filmed in World Trade Center Seoul and the Songdo International Business District , which includes Songdo Central Park and International Business District Station. In K-pop, it is routine to have cameos by celebrities in a music video, such as in the dance scenes in the elevator and the parking garage. The music was composed by Psy and Yoo Gun-hyung , a producer in South Korea who has also collaborated with Psy in the past.
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Psy's Gangnam Style is no longer the most-watched video on YouTube. The South Korean megahit had been the site's most-played clip for the last five years. The surreal video became so popular that it "broke" YouTube's play counter , exceeding the maximum possible number of views 2,,, , and forcing the company to rewrite its code. The heart-wrenching ballad has now been streamed 2,,, times; beating Psy's current count of 2,,, views. Adding it up, that means See You Again has been streamed for a total of 21, years. If one person was to listen to each of those streams consecutively, they'd have to have started during the glacial peak of the last Ice Age. The song was written for the action movie Furious 7, playing over the closing credits in tribute to the actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident before the film was completed. It was the best-selling song worldwide in , and received best song nominations at both the Grammys and the Oscars. The music video features the final scene of Furious 7, in which the two main characters Dominic Toretto Vin Diesel and Brian O'Conner Cody Walker, filling in for his brother, Paul , drive side-by-side, sharing a smile for the last time before they pull onto separate roads and drive into the sunset. The video reached 1 billion views in six months, and hit 2 billion last September.

A K-pop and dance-pop song, the term "Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song received mixed reviews, with praise for its catchy beat and Psy's amusing dancing which has itself become a phenomenon in the music video and during live performances in various locations around the world. The song and its music video went viral in August and have influenced popular culture worldwide. A music video was released the same day, attracting global media attention and a public audience.

It became a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different individuals, groups and organizations. The term was listed in Time ' s weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul's Gangnam district.

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 very 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". 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.

During an interview with Reuters , Psy said that "Gangnam Style" was originally produced only for local K-pop fans.

According to the news agency Agence France-Presse , the success of "Gangnam Style" could be considered as part of the Korean Wave , [32] a term coined by Chinese journalists to refer to the significant increase in the popularity of South Korean entertainment and culture since the late s. Korean popular music K-pop , considered by some to be the most important aspect of the Korean Wave, [34] is a music genre that relies on cultural technology to adapt to the tastes of foreign audiences and has now grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults in many places around the world.

The song has received mixed to positive ratings from music critics. Music journalist Bill Lamb from About. In his article, Benjamin introduced the reader to a couple of popular K-pop songs and wrote that "Gangnam Style" in particular, plays all the right moves sonically while "borrowing from LMFAO along the way". Hallie Sekoff of The Huffington Post quoted from the video's official YouTube video description that the song is characterized by its "strongly addictive beats", and wrote that this is not too far-fetched, considering "how obsessed we've found ourselves.

Despite its popularity, a few music critics including Robert Copsey from Digital Spy criticized the song for being monotonous. Cospey wrote that "you could slap an LMFAO tag on the cover and few would know the difference" [41] and Paul Lester of The Guardian similarly labelled it as "generic ravey Euro dance with guitars".

Cha Woo-jin, a South Korean music critic, told The Chosun Ilbo that "Gangnam Style"'s sophisticated rendering and arrangement has made it very appealing to the general public. In Japan, the song was met with considerable criticism. Immediately after its release, "Gangnam Style" was mentioned by various English-language websites providing coverage of Korean pop culture for international fans, including Allkpop [51] and Soompi. The video starts out with Psy, who is lounging at what looks like a sandy beach, under a sun umbrella and holding a cold drink, but the camera zooms out to reveal he is actually at a playground.

The scenes alternate quickly until there is an explosion near the chess players, causing them to dive off the bench. Psy immediately walks towards the camera, pointing and shouting "Oppan Gangnam Style". The chorus starts as he and some dancers perform at a horse stable.

He dances as two women walk backwards. He dances at the tennis court, a carousel, and the tour bus. He shuffles into an outdoor yoga session and on a boat. The camera zooms in on a woman's butt, then shows Psy "yelling" at it. The chorus ends and he is seen at a parking lot, where Psy is approached by a man Yoo Jae-suk in a yellow suit who steps out of a red Mercedes-Benz SLK ; they have a dance duel.

He then appears in an elevator underneath a man Noh Hong-Chul who is straddling him and thrusting his pelvis. The man in the yellow suit then gets in his car and leaves. The camera pans and it shows Psy in the subway station, where he boards the train and notices an attractive young woman Hyuna dancing. At one of the train stops, he approaches the girl in slow motion, and she does the same. They start to embrace. He then tells the girl "Oppan Gangnam Style", and they horse dance along with some others at the train stop, commencing the second chorus.

He also surfaces from a spa. Psy sings to the girl at a night club as people in various costumes walk behind them. He raps in a serious tone in an enclosed space, but when he says "You know what I'm saying" the camera zooms out, and it is revealed that he is actually sitting on a toilet with his pants down. After a brief reprise of the dance duel, Psy says, "Oppan Gangnam style", and the video finishes with a cartoon graphic.

He wears several distinctive suits and black sunglasses with a mindset of "dress classy and dance cheesy". The sauna scene, elevator scene and bathroom scene were filmed elsewhere in the greater Seoul region , [65] and some shots were filmed in World Trade Center Seoul and the Songdo International Business District , which includes Songdo Central Park and International Business District Station.

In K-pop, it is routine to have cameos by celebrities in a music video, such as in the dance scenes in the elevator and the parking garage. The music was composed by Psy and Yoo Gun-hyung , a producer in South Korea who has also collaborated with Psy in the past.

Yoo also arranged the song while Psy was responsible for the lyrics. According to The Wall Street Journal , T-Pain was among the first to have "sent [the video] to the stratosphere" when he tweeted about it on July This makes the Stawski's video the earliest parody featured in an American newspaper.

On September 3, , the number of daily views generated by "Gangnam Style" went past the five-million mark. A spoof documentary by videographer Simon Gosselin [93] was posted on YouTube and had promoted doomsday rumors across social media services such as Facebook and Twitter that linked "Gangnam Style" to a fake Nostradamus prophecy. This increased the average number of views per day from 4,, to 4,, views divided by the number of days since release. As of January , the video is the eighth most viewed video on YouTube , [99] having earned over 3.

The music video of "Gangnam Style" has been met with positive responses from the music industry and commentators, who drew attention to its tone and dance moves, though some found them vulgar.

The World Bank 's lead economist David McKenzie remarked that some of Psy's dance moves "kind of look like a regression discontinuity ", [] while the space agency NASA called "Gangnam Style" a dance-filled music video that has forever entered the hearts and minds of millions of people. The German news magazine Der Spiegel attributed the popularity of "Gangnam Style" to its daring dance moves, [] a sentiment similarly voiced by Maura Judkis of The Washington Post , who wrote, "'Gangnam Style' has made an extraordinarily stupid-looking dance move suddenly cool".

Mesfin Fekadu of the Associated Press wrote that Psy's dance moves are "somewhat bizarre" but the music video is full of colorful, lively outfits. The music video for the song has gone viral and is an Internet meme. In such a case I was also thinking of playing Gangnam Style-dance so that everybody would stop and dance. Maybe you can bring UN style. Through social networks like Facebook, many small, unofficial fan-organized flash mobs have been held in universities and colleges throughout the world. The earliest flash mobs were held in Pasadena, California , [] and Sydney, Australia.

The American Council on Exercise estimated that dancing "Gangnam Style" will burn — calories per half-hour. According to the Thai newspaper The Nation , villagers and spiritual leaders from Loei province felt "uneasy" and also "greatly offended" about this "Gangnam Style" performance which tarnishes the image of a year-old tradition.

Although Vice Admiral Tharathorn Kajitsuwan from the Third Naval Area Command insisted that "we had no intention to insult or make fun of navy officers in uniform", some senior officers have called it "improper". Kajitsuwan claimed that his subordinates had the right to upload the video to YouTube, although he did not expect them to do so.

On October 1, , he issued an apology to his colleagues. Commander Surasak Rounroengrom believes an investigation is unnecessary because the video caused no damage to the navy, but he admits that there was some impropriety about military officers doing their "fancy stepping in uniform".

Since September , the dance has been performed by athletes in international competitions. These people include:. On September 18, , the North Korean government became the first to use "Gangnam Style" for political activism when it uploaded a parody with the title " I'm Yushin style! It shows a Photoshopped image of the presidential candidate performing the dance moves of "Gangnam Style" and labels her as a devoted admirer of the Yushin system of autocratic rule set up by her father, Park Chung-hee.

In his parody, Ai Weiwei dances "Gangnam Style" with a pair of handcuffs as a symbol of his arrest by Chinese authorities in According to the Associated Press , government authorities had removed the video from almost all Chinese websites the next day.

At her inauguration Psy performed "Gangnam Style" and " Champion ", one of his first hits in his native country. In order to show his solidarity with Ai Weiwei and to advocate the freedom of expression , the British sculptor Anish Kapoor produced the video Gangnam for Freedom , which features other prominent British artists as well as human rights activists from various international organisations including Index on Censorship and Amnesty International. Greenpeace announced that it was "Going Gangnam, Greenpeace Style" in order to raise public awareness about illegal and unsustainable fishing practices off the coast of Mozambique.

Activists from Greenpeace had parodied "Gangnam Style" on board the organization's excursion yacht Rainbow Warrior. He announces that a "new paradigm " will begin at Songdo with the GCF and the video heralds "The beginning of Songdo Style" while "Gangnam Style" plays in the background. In December , the Department of Health in the Philippines launched a "Gangnam Style" dance campaign against the use of firecrackers to celebrate the New Year. Eric Tayag, the popularity of the song will attract people especially children to use safer means of celebration such as dancing "Gangnam Style".

Muhammad Rahim al Afghani , a close associate of Osama bin Laden currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp , had also used the song to demonstrate his ability to gain access to popular cultural trends despite being confined within a top secret prison. In a letter to his lawyer, Muhammad wrote, "I like this new song Gangnam Style.

I want to do the dance for you but cannot because of my shackles. Reaction videos and parodies have been made for or with the music respectively.

Some of these user generated videos have received international media recognition. College campuses have spawned numerous parodies. Sukkos Style? There are many "Gangnam Style" parodies used for education. One such parody includes "Conjugation Style", a parody used to teach students about the conjugation of -er verbs in the French language.

Following the release of "Gangnam Style", Psy made several performances on television and at concerts in Korea. Early performances included his appearance on the weekly South Korean music program, The Music Trend.

More than 80, fans attended the event, leading to the closure of part of the city center and an increase in subway operations. At the show, a part of celebration for the 85th birthday of Thai's King Bhumibol Adulyadej , he performed the song along with his other hits. On February 11, , Psy arrived at the Malaysian state of Penang and performed "Gangnam Style" at a concert in front of more than , guests, including the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohd Najib Abdul Razak as well as other high-ranking politicians from the country's ruling Barisan Nasional party.

Following the viral success of his music video, Psy left for the United States and performed "Gangnam Style" in various locations. Dodger Stadium presented a segment called "Psy Dance Cam" where they showed clips of the music video, followed by live shots of baseball fans dancing, and then Psy, who waves and does the dance.

He described the dance as "pretending to bounce like riding on an invisible horse" [62] [] [] and when Ellen told Britney she would have to remove her high-heeled shoes to perform the dance Psy protested that no, the point was, 'to dress classy, and dance cheesy. Bobby Moynihan portrayed Psy, but was joined mid-sketch by Psy himself. Psy later told reporters that his gig with Madonna had "topped his list of accomplishments". The combination of the K-pop star and MC Hammer



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