Why is the World Dancing Gangnam Style?

Internationally understood slapstick humour helps make Gangnam style a runaway hit on YouTube and iTunes (number one currently).

What could be the reason for the runaway hit Gangnam Style?

By Pat Wheeler

One of the most popular songs today is the Gangnam Style, a surprise to many, and a delight to all who watch the video on YouTube. It’s currently number one on iTunes. In two months, it hit 230 million views and spun off hundreds of spin offs. But why is a cool, Korean Rap song such a hit around the world? Gangnam Style is a Korean pop single, but it success goes beyond just a great song by the Korean artist and rapper PSY.

Whacky humor and a total lack of restraint makes Gangnam Style fun to watch for everyone in almost any culture. It’s just fun.


PSY is funny. Period. No one can disagree. Everyone who watches the video laughs. So, it may be that simple. Possible reason number one for it’s cult-hit status is humour that transcends international borders. The scenes are funny, Mr-Bean-Style—by that I mean you don’t need to understand the language to get the fun.

The “horse dance” or Gangnam step is one of the other reasons the video is infectious. The dancestep is infectious and has appeared in parodies—and dance clubs—around the world.

Catchy Rhythm and Dance?
Most rap songs have a catchy rhythm, but there’s more to it that that here. There’s an underlying charm that goes beyond just a driving rhythm. It’s the Gangnam Style dance, so perfectly in synch with the rhythm—sort of a combination of horse-back riding and skipping. It’s just fun to watch as PSY so elegantly trots through the steps, now known as the Gangnam Syle Dance. He didn’t just create a great song, and a funny video, he invented a new dance that’s being mimicked around the world.

Don’t believe me? Just watch, and tell me you’re not as charmed as I—and 230 million others.

As of September 20, 2012, the music video has received a total of over 230 million views, making it as Youtube’s most viewed K-Pop video. Even top artists from America like Katy Perry and T-Pain have already shared it on their twitter accounts. In addition to that, it also has been featured in various international media outlets like CNN International and The Wall Street Journal.

K-Pop Sensation
Korean music, like Korean drama is a major international export. People in countries around the world are addicted to the K.

Totally unexpected and seemingly unrelated comical scenes thread through Gangnam Style, giving it timeless energy. Although this is K-Rap (Korean Rap) it’s finding audiences around the world by the hundreds of millions.

K-Pop is normally slick and sexy and the singers gorgeous (male or female). With Gangnam Style, it PSY puts a pin in that balloon. Pop.

There’s nothing conventional about PSY. Is it his humour? His very unique and addictive dance? His singing? His rap? The whacky slapstick scenes? There’s no one answer, other than the personality of this video is just universally appealing.

Parodies and Mobs
Parodies have appeared all around the world. Even though K-pop is popular around the world–some call it the Korean Wave—Gangnam style was probably the very first song to have featured in major international media outlets. The Gangnam factor is also boosted by well-known A-List artists from America such as T-pain, tweeting and posting and raving about the Gangnam sensation.

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  1. Prudence Sorn says:

    The horse dance is becoming famous in over the world and the singer named Psy is known as a worldwide idol. Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ video has more than 300 million YouTube views and counting.Millions of people imitated this dance. A teacher teaching math danced ‘Gangnam Style’ in his period to make it less boring and his students are very interesting in his new way of teaching. A teacher teaching physical education did the same thing in the physical class. In recent days, people told about this song and its dance had proved as an internet sensation when almost 1000 inmates of a Philippine prison burst into the famous horse-riding dance…

    Our personal blog

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