Gangnam Style by PSY

June 29, 2023

The South Korean artist PSY’s single “Gangnam Style” was released in 2012. The song’s music video, which features PSY’s distinctive “horse-riding” dancing movements, became an international sensation and broke all prior YouTube views records. Although the song’s title refers to Seoul’s affluent Gangnam neighborhood, which is renowned for its upscale shopping and glitzy lifestyle, the lyrics of “Gangnam Style” are in Korean. Even though the singer is neither from Gangnam or affluent, the song teases people’s ambition to be fashionable and wealthy. As the song’s lyrics combine English and Korean idioms, they are hilarious and catchy, making it appealing to listeners everywhere.

Hip-hop, electronic dance, and pop music are all included into the song’s production, and a powerful and pulsating beat is heavily featured. “Oppa Gangnam Style,” the song’s memorable hook, is sung again and sticks in listeners’ heads. As of 2023, the song’s music video, which portrays PSY dancing in various settings, had over 4 billion views. It was the first video on YouTube to exceed 1 billion views.

Singer Psy (L) performs 'Gangnam Style'

Getty Images/ FilmMagic/ Jeff Kravitz

The song’s success can be ascribed to its universal appeal, since its catchy melody and energetic dancing motions cut through linguistic boundaries. The popularity of the song opened the path for the internationalization of K-pop, which resulted in the appearance of additional K-pop groups and solo singers. The song’s significance may be observed in the emergence of K-pop fandoms and the influence of Korean fashion and beauty trends worldwide.

In conclusion, the cultural phenomenon “Gangnam Style” is a perfect example of the ability of music and dance to cut over linguistic and cultural borders. The song became a worldwide success and opened the door for the internationalization of K-pop because of its catchy melody, entertaining dance movements, and hilarious lyrics. It will surely continue to be remembered as a classic song for years to come.