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‘Gangnam Style’ quickly gains popularity

October 18, 2012

“Snape. Snape. Severus Snape. DUMBLEDORE!”

There are many YouTube videos created over the years by users all around the world that we have grown to know and love.

This past summer, a YouTube sensation was released, ready to be familiarized by millions of viewers. The video I am talking about is the hit “Gangnam Style.” There have been numerous goofy dance videos to appear on the Internet, but “Gangnam Style” could be easily the goofiest, catchiest and most addicting music video of the year.

It can be heard blasted in rooms all around campus and, in fact, all around the world.
But just how exactly did this video come to be? What is the background of this song that will not get out of our heads?

“Gangnam Style” is a single introduced by South Korean rapper Psy. The song was released in South Korea on July 15, 2012, as a part of Psy’s sixth record album.

In just a short time, “Gangnam Style” debuted at No. 1 on the “Gaon Chart,” the national record chart in South Korea.

As of just about a week ago, “Gangnam Style” had a total of around 470 million views on YouTube, making it the most watched K-Pop video on the site. In just the first day of being released, the video had already reached 500,000 views.

Just a month ago, “Gangnam Style” was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most “liked” video in YouTube’s history. This “viral” video has been shared already by numerous celebrities, including T-Pain, Katy Perry and Britney Spears.

Maroon 5 and Nelly Furtado have already done their own covers of the song, in addition to several parodies and even Flash Mobs.

One parody that may be known well to students here at UW-River Falls is “Minnesota Style,” done by a group of University of Minnesota students.

“Gangnam Style” made its way to the United States on Sept. 6 of this year, and since then it has made appearances on shows such as “The Today Show,” “Saturday Night Live” and even “The Wall Street Journal”.

“Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism referring to the Gangnam District in Seoul. This district is known for people who are trendy, hip and classy. Psy dances in many scenes relating to the Gangnam District in the video.

However, while he is shown dancing in various locations, only two locations in the video were filmed within the Gangnam District. Other scenes, such as the sauna, elevator and bathroom scenes, were filmed in greater districts of Seoul.

The video itself took over just 48 hours to film in July of this year.

Just a few months after the release of the video, Psy was interviewed in Beverly Hills, Calif. He mentioned that the video was meant to contain a “twisted sense of humor.”

The humor aspect stems from him saying that he is “Gangnam Style” even though the video is “far from high class.” Psy said the video also pokes fun at wannabes - people who claim to be Gangnam Style but are actually just trying to be something they are not. Take it from Psy - don’t try to be something that you’re not. Just learn the dance.

Cristin Dempsey is an English major and music minor from Eagan, Minn. She enjoys writing, playing the flute and swimming. After college she would like to pursue a career as an editor.