The Anatomy of Gangnam Style’s Viral Sensation

Source: Gangnam Style Infographics by Neo Mammalian Studios | Mashable

Whether you’re a K-pop fan or not, you’ve probably heard of “Gangnam Style,” a bizarre Korean song that becomes a viral music video. The clip has already garnered more than 100 million views since July 15, and it tops the charts, overtaking Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen, according to the YouTube 100.

Although the Gangnam Style posses an undeniable appeal, people may not be familiar with its social real. Good thing, an infographic put together by British design firm Neo Mammalian Studios can help you understand the phenomena behind this viral YouTube video.

The Man Behind Gangnam Style

For those who don’t know, YG talent PSY is the man behind the latest YouTube sensation. His real name is Park Jae-Sang, a 34-year-old K-pop rapper from South Korea. He attended the Berklee College of Music in the United States and is fluent in English. PSY got his screen name from his first album, PSY from the Psycho World! which was released in 2001.

Because of his latest single, the Korean rapper managed to set two iTunes records for Korean artists. The Gangnam Style reached number one in the music video chart, while it ranked 44th on U.S. iTunes Top 100 Songs Chart. No other Korean artist has ever reached this much success in United States. Aside from YouTube, the music video also made huge record when it comes to social media reach. The video was tweeted 780,000 times and gained more than 260,000 Facebook Likes.

However, not everything about him and his career is a success story. His first album was fined due to “inappropriate content,” while his second album got banned altogether. He was arrested for possession on Marijuana in 2001 and was outed for avoiding mandatory military service.

Gangnam Style and Its Meaning

Actually, there’s more to Gangnam Style besides being a YouTube sensation. It refers to the affluent Gangnam district in Seoul, South Korea, and it is meant to put some fun on the area’s outsized influence.

PSY’s Gangnam Style defines the rise of K-pop, as it was able to hop beyond the U.S. fence. It was able to surpass record after record because of its ability to give the wealth gap in the district a satirical look. However, the video’s flashiness made viewers overlook this aforementioned gap, making it more than just an aspirational way of life. Indeed, Gangnam Style’s legacy is far from over, as it will continue to land on record books.