PSY’s “Gangnam Style” Demonstrates Music Without Borders

Let’s call it PSY syndrome. With his new song “강남가라오케 Style,” South Korean rapper PSY has been gaining attention all over the Internet. The “Gangnam Style”, which began in South Korean, is spreading quickly, intoxicating music fans around the world with the song’s funky beat and comical dance moves.

The “Gangnam Style” music video has gone mega-viral since its release a month ago — clocking in at around 60 million YouTube hits as of the time of writing.

PSY (real name Park Jae-Sang), he’s 34, slightly rotund, and happy to laugh at himself and others — this is the K-Pop star seemingly taking over the world.

According to the video’s YouTube description, this was all bound to happen. “The song is characterized by its strongly addictive beats and lyrics, and is thus certain to penetrate the foundations of modern philosophy.” Quite a statement, but perhaps not too far-fetched, considering how obsessed we’ve found ourselves.

The music video starts with PSY daydreaming in a beach chair at a children’s playground. He longs for a “radiant, electrifying girl” who is “tender and big-hearted” by day but, by night, her heart turns wild and fiery.

He dances in a subway station, by the river, on top of a modern building, and even in a public bath, a far cry from a Beverly Hills lifestyle.

Thanks to PSY, the whole world is talking about Gangnam, Seoul’s ritziest district, and wondering where — or what — it could possibly be.

PSY’s meteoric rise to internet superstardom hasn’t gone unnoticed by other celebrities. According to ABC News, both T-Pain and Josh Groban have tweeted about the singer’s viral hit, and PSY’s management company claims that Justin Bieber has shown interest in collaborating with the artist.

Many pop music experts in South Korea say the song is more in the style of American pop music rather than Korean, mixed with electronic dance beats from the global pop music trend.

PSY then combined the music with humor, an easy-to-imitate dance and a key feature of K-pop music: an addictive chorus. In the song, the chorus, “Oppan Gangnam Style” is repeated many times.

The singer, who attended Boston University and Berklee College of Music, rose to stardom with his debut album “PSY from the psycho world!” in 2001. But he soon began to reel after being fined for smoking marijuana.

He temporarily recovered fame when his new songs “Champion” and “Celebrity” were big hits the following year but another hurdle was awaiting him.

He was embroiled in protracted legal debates over draft-dodging allegations. In 2007, the court ordered him to serve in the military for another 20 months as he neglected his job as an alternative to mandatory military service from 2003 to 2005.

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