"Gangnam Style" (Korean: 강남스타일 is a 2012 K-pop single by Korean musician PSY. It has been highly praised for its humorous, catchy rhythm, and Psy's unusual dance moves in the music video and live performances. The song was released on July 15, 2012, when it debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart. The music video has been viewed over 292 million times on YouTube as of September 27, 2012, making it the site's most watched K-pop video in history.
It has been shared on the Internet by numerous celebrities including T-Pain, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Tom Cruise, covered by others such as Nelly Furtado and Maroon 5, and has also been featured in international media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and CNN International.
By early September, "Gangnam Style" flash mobs started to appear in various cities of the world, rumored to start from the momentum gathered by Daniel Kandi playing it at his August Korean gigs, and "Gangnam Style" has become the source of parodies and reaction videos by The Oregon Duck, midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy, high-ranking officers from the Royal Thai Navy, and the North Korean government. Psy has brought the "Gangnam Style" dance to various locations including The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, Dodger Stadium, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Samsung commercials.
The song has topped the iTunes Charts in 31 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. On September 17, "Gangnam Style" was nominated for Best Video at the upcoming 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards to be held in Frankfurt, Germany. On September 20, 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the "Most 'Liked' Video in YouTube History".
"Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed "class". The term was listed in Time's weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul's Gangnam district. Psy likened Gangnam District to Beverly Hills, California, and said in an interview that he intended a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be "Gangnam Style" when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class. In another interview with CNN, PSY added that:
"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 so 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." The song assists in defining this by the singer exclaiming "Ehhhhh Sexy Lady!" The song's refrain "오빤 강남 스타일 (Oppan Gangnam style)" has been translated as "Big brother is Gangnam style", with Psy referring to himself; "oppa" is a Korean expression used by females to refer to an older male friend or older brother.
Meanwhile, some critics find more potential hidden messages from "Gangnam Style". The Atlantic claims that "Gangnam Style" is a satire of conspicuous consumption in South Korea -- such satire is unusual in the current K-pop scene, which has been lately dominated by bubblegum pop. One common example of conspicuous consumption is expensive coffee. Women known as Doenjangnyeo are known to spend large amounts on expensive coffee while eating inexpensive ramen meals. This could be why Psy draws attention to drinking coffee in the song.
The music was composed by Psy and Yoo Gun-hyung, who is a well-known producer in South Korea and also collaborated with Psy in the past. Yoo also arranged the song, while Psy was responsible for the lyrics. In K-pop, it is unusual for an artist to write his own music and choreograph his own video as Psy does.
English Lyrics Version
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