What is Gangnam then? It’s actually an affluent neighbourhood in Seoul. In his record-setting video (it’s now in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most liked YouTube video in history), K-pop (Korean pop) rapper Psy (as Park Jae-Sang is now known all over the world) mocks the lifestyle of Gangnam District, sporting a bow tie and engaging in the leisure activities -- and other, more mundane ones – of the well-to-do.
There are sexy ladies, expensive cars, bow ties, and two pairs of sunglasses that have Google abuzz as people search for Gangnam Style Psy sunglasses and various companies try to replicate their designs. For a while in August, when the video went viral, the answer wasn’t available in English, until a blogger who could read Korean searched Korean Web pages and found the answer. The designer was Thierry Lasry. They now advertise that on their Web site, of course, but in the meantime many eyewear producers have jumped on the bandwagon, so you can find them for as little as $10 on the first page of search results for “psy sunglasses” and even $5 if you search some more. Compare that to $435 for the original Thierry Lasry “Variety” sunglasses sold in the US (according to examiner.com, December 22, 2012).
Psy’s horse dance has become quite a meme. And like a true meme of the 2012, it has already appeared on posters of the “Keep Calm” variety, with a Psy-like figure horse-dancing at the top, where the crown stood in the original posters. Apart from those dance moves, the music inspired many versions of “Gangnam Styles,” including some operatic ones, complete with flutes and other instruments, and where the performer actually horse-dances in front of his music stand. There are many videos on YouTube with such versions, and they include parodies where politicians are made to move like Psy in cartoon-like animations. There are also instances where politicians themselves, such as Andrew Little, Member of Parliament in New Zealand, demonstrate the Gangnam Style moves! In Parliament! And many more politicians and public figures mention Gangnam Style without attempting the dance.
So what is Psy singing about? Well, like most singers, he sings about sex. He presents himself as a hot-blooded player who downs his coffee hot in one gulp and likes ladies who know how to let their hair down and play. There’s more to the lyrics, but not much.
Psy says that the night of December 31, when he turned 35 and sang and danced on “the biggest stage in the universe,” New York’s Times Square, was his last performance of Gangnam Style.