South Korean Rapper PSY's 'Gangnam Style' Goes Viral
Its YouTube video and dance move are drawing worldwide attention.
SEOUL, South Korea, Aug. 14, 2012 — -- When South Korean rapper PSY released his music video "Gangnam Style" last month, he had no idea it would go so globally viral.
YouTube has recorded more than 28 million hits and countless parody video clips have been uploaded every day. The music is addictive, with an electro beat and repetitive lyrics.
Chubby with a round belly, PSY, 34, wears a tailored suit complete with chic sunglasses and different color bowties throughout the video. But it is the dance step that is drawing audiences around the world.
The video shows the move -- now named the "horse-riding dance" on the Internet -- as riding an invisible horse on a saddle in many different venues in the posh Gangnam district in Seoul.
"Gangnam means, it's like Beverly Hills of Korea," said PSY, or Jae-Sang Park. "But the guy doesn't look like Beverly Hills. Dance doesn't look like Beverly Hills. ... And the situation in music video doesn't look like Beverly Hills. But he keeps saying I'm Beverly Hills style. So that's the point. It's sort of a twist."
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.
He says: "I can go crazy when the time is right, a man who is bulging with social life instead of bulging with muscles. I am that kind of man."
The funny PSY repeats "Oppan Gangnam Style" throughout the video, which roughly means "Girls, your big brother is Gangnam Style."
The snowballing popularity of the music video has been noticed by celebrities like rapper T-Pain and singer Josh Groban.
"Words cannot ever describe how amazing this video is," T-Pain tweeted. He later added a phrase from the song: "O…..O…..o…o…o…..Oppa GANGNAM style!! Heeeeeeeeeyy sexy laaaadyyy."
Groban posted on Twitter: "It's a gangnam style world, we are just living in it."
PSY's management company says Justin Bieber has also shown interest in collaborative work.
Although the U.S.-educated Jae-Sang Park seems to be a new kid on the block to many foreign viewers, he has actually been around for more than a decade now in Korea, after making his debut in 2001. The album he released in mid-July, which includes "Gangnam Style," marks his sixth album.
As an entertainer, rapper, songwriter, producer and judge for a Korean-television talent show named "Superstar K," PSY has built his reputation in the domestic music industry with numerous famed titles.
He also starred in two movies, "Mongjunggi" (2002) and "Mongjunggi 2" (2005).
For now, though, he is overwhelmed by the global spotlight.
"I don't want to open up the champagne yet," he said. "But I would like to show the world what Korean music and concerts are about."
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