by Stanley Azuakola
In the early hours of Thursday (Nigerian time), the few Nigerians awake were mostly watching US Vice President Joe Biden deliver his speech at the Democratic National Convention and patiently waiting for President Obama himself to come on stage to deliver his. At about that same time, the American Video Music Awards (VMAs) was ongoing as well.
During that show, millions of American viewers were introduced to Psy, the South Korean rapper whose video, ‘Gangnam Style,’ took YouTube by storm last month.
No other YouTube video — not even Justin Bieber’s Baby or Rebecca Black’s Friday — has achieved what Psy’s Gangman Style achieved when it reached 100 million views in just 51 days and elicited a deluge of response videos.
Watch Gangnam Style below:
In all, it has been viewed over 117 million times since it was posted on July 15, and Psy, a.k.a. Park Jae Sung, became the first Korean artist to be invited to the VMAs since Rain performed in 2005, according to the Korea Times.
The Gangman Style craze hasn’t yet been caught in Nigeria, but for the curious, here’s a Gangman style Lesson 101, giving you the story behind Psy’s trademark dance move, the meaning of the song’s lyrics, and But what do the lyrics of the song mean, and other cool stuff you might be interested in, thanks to the folks at New York Daily News.
What does the ‘Gangnam Style’ mean?
Gangnam is a wealthy neighborhood in the South Korean city of Seoul where young people go to party. In the song, Psy describes the kind of guy he is and the kind of girl he wants, painting caricatures of the ostentatious culture of people who hang out in Gangnam.
As The Atlantic pointed out in an in-depth article last month, behind the flashy costumes and killer dance moves in Psy’s video, there’s a subtle commentary on class in South Korea.
What does the chorus, ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’, mean?
It roughly means something like ‘Your man has Gangnam Style.’ ‘Oppa,’ which literally means ‘older brother,’ is an affectionate term girls use to address older guy friends or a boyfriend. It can also be used as a first-person pronoun, as PSY does here — in this case, he’s telling a woman that he has Gangnam style.
What’s the deal with his signature dance?
“It’s a horse-riding dance,” PSY explained in an interview with NY1 anchor Michelle Park. “So there is an invisible horse, and you’re on it.” (In the video, Psy first does the dance in the middle of a posh-looking stable.)
The singer manages to turn an activity typically associated with the wealthy into a hilarious, arm-flapping dance move.
How do you say ‘Psy’?
It’s pronounced like ‘sigh,’ short for ‘psycho.’
What’s next for Psy?
He signed with Schoolboy Records, the label of Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, so we may soon be seeing more of him stateside.