In the baby boomer generation, That Thing You Do, a single released by The Wonders, fascinated people for a long time. Today, majority of people are interested in Harlem Shake, the very short clips that were uploaded on YouTube by some undefined performers. Last year, 2012 was the year of excitement and entertainment. In every part of the world, Gangnan Style, a single released by a Korean singer called PSY, has turned people to share the common interest in the funny dance moves with the catchy beats. Gangnam Style is a recent popular culture that turns people on in the world.
This essay will first illustrate the background of this world phenomenon and then extent to explain why it becomes popular culture. To begin with, Gangnam Style is combination of the fancy dance move and a song that is sung in Korean language. It is sung and danced by Park Jae-sang, who is better known by his stage name, PSY. PSY is a 35-year-old Korean artist, who has been working in music industry since 1999. In July 2012, PSY released his sixth album called PSY 6 (Six Rules) Part 1, which Gangnam Style was included inside this album.
No later than a month, Gangnam Style became the most viewed video on YouTube due to the unique dance move that has been entertaining people around the world. The reputation of this pop culture did not stop increasing. In December 2012, it became the first ever video that reached 1 billion views on YouTube. Even though it is sung in Korean, but nobody cares about the meaning of it. In other words, people have been into the dance moves with the catchy beats and careless about the lyrics. In addition, Gangnam Style has influenced on many aspects worldwide such as television; sports; parodies; flash mobs, famous people and technology.
For instance, there have been more many flash mobs of ethnic groups over the world. In fact, the first flash mob took place in one of the shopping mall in Pasadena, California. Gangnam Style also gained very positive feeling from noticeable people such as Barak Obama, the President of the US and Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank. However, many people wondered why is the part of popular culture. It is important to note that one thing can become popular culture unless it has 4 characteristics: association with commercial products, development from a local to a global level, accessibility and constantly changing or volving.
For one thing, Gangnam Style is considered as a treasure for the businesspeople all over the world due to its popularity. For instance, the famous Korean music company, YG entertainment has sold about 100 thousands of the Gangnam Style records nationally. After it became the most viewed video, PSY earned around $1 million from his YouTube revenue share. Moreover, Apple made Gangnam Style to be available in Itune for the Apple ‘s users to download for a fee of $1. 29. Most important thing is that businesspeople have made a lot of money from selling the concert admission fee that they arranged in many parts of the world.
Beside the music industry, some associated companies have made plenty of money from selling Gangnam Style clothes, cups, bags and cartoons. It is not a surprise that there are many dancing schools in the world that teach Gangnam Style dance move. Today, some companies have produced photo editor application that allows users to edit photo of PSY dancing Gangnam Style by replacing his head with their friends’ heads. After put things into consideration, Gangnam Style does have association with many global enterprises.
In fact, PSY aimed to release Gangnam Style just to compete with other Kpop artists such as Girls Generation and BigBang. He did not expect this record could become what it is today. Miracle happened! Gangnam Style only took about 5 months to reach the global level. This is not just a record that entertains teenagers and adults but also fascinates middle aged and old aged people around the world. All kind of people cannot stand still when they hear the Gangnam Style music; in other words, they just feel like dancing along the music playback.
People seem to feel the same type of enjoyment even if they belong to different cultures. In addition, Gangnam Style appeared on many famous TV shows such as Ellen Show in the US, Strictly Come Dancing Show in the UK and Who Will Become A Millionaire Show in India. There are many Gangnam Style dancing videoes or flash mobs that were uploaded onto YouTube by some ethnic groups in different countries. In December 2012, Gangnam Style made its way to become the number one hit in both Billboard and Itune chart passing over As Long As You Love Me by Justin Bieber.
Surprisingly, Gangnam Style also became an international phrase. There are 90% of the world population know what this phrase means. Hence, Gangnam Style is known worldwide. Furthermore, Gangnam Style is extremely accessible compared to other popular culture in the 21st Century. YouTube, a world community that allows people to watch and upload the videos for free of charge, plays an important role in promoting Gangnam Style to be the world phenomenon. There are 1,507,623,962 people who have watched this video on YouTube.
In fact, many teenagers and adults watched this video in order to learn the dancing moves of PSY. Additionally, Gangnam Style CD can be found in almost all music stores in the world except North Korea. They can also be bought online. Not onl6 does CD can be shopped online but also other Gangnam Style commercial products such as toys, shirts and bags. PSY has appeared on many world tours with his Gangnam Style single release in many countries such as the United State, the United Kingdom, Korea and French.
For instance, to celebrate New Year Eve 2012, PSY was invited to sing and dance at Time Square in New York, The US. Well, it is the fact that people can find Gangnam Style everywhere. Finally, Gangnam Style has been developing to entertain people for all over the world. After Gangnam Style became a success in YouTube, many people started to turn Gangnam Style into an acoustic in order to delight the audiences. In February 2013, a group of the twin sisters called Jayesslee, uploaded their Gangnam Style acoustic version on YouTube.
That video became the most viewed acoustic version of Gangnam Style. Until now, this video has 22,847,341 views. Equally important, PSY remixed his Gangnam Style release with many popular songs during his concerts last year. Many people translated and sang the Gangnam Style in their own languages; however, they kept the parts, which said “Oppa Gangnam Style” and “Hey Sexy Ladies” to remain original. Most of the time, people are not able to follow every dancing move in Gangnam Style video; therefore, they change some moves beside the equine dancing move to make it more easier to dance.
In a consequence, people change the original Gangnam Style into something more interesting and exciting. In conclusion, Gangnam Style taught people an amazing today popular culture. Due to its unique dancing moves with the beats, it became the world phenomenon that fascinates almost every kind of people in the world. People cannot curl themselves from dancing along the music while it plays. After all considerations, we can be surely that Gangnam Style has 4 characteristics of pop culture. In other words, it is a real part of popular culture.
Courtney from Study Moose
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