Gangnam Style: The Substance Behind the Goofy Dance

It's a critique of South Korea's wealthiest residents
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2012 10:15 AM CDT
Updated Sep 23, 2012 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – You might think PSY's viral horse dance, Gangnam Style, is hysterical, but the AP takes a look at the serious social commentary behind the rapper's theatrics. The video offers up a critique of Seoul's ritzy Gangnam neighborhood, which is filled with new money, plastic surgery clinics, and elite schools. Many South Koreans both despise and envy those who live there, and PSY's video dares to turn the camera on the Gangnam elite—even though he's from near Gangnam himself.

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Despite his background, PSY's appearance is essentially that of a South Korean redneck, making the quasi-fancy attire he wears in the video a parody in itself. The various scenes of his video show him walking with beautiful models (through trash), dancing at a disco (on a bus full of old people), and rapping atop a throne (a toilet throne, that is). One after another, PSY takes perceptions of Gangnam residents and turns them on their heads. Click to read the AP's full analysis, which looks at how PSY managed to break into the US music scene: "I'm not handsome, I'm not tall, I'm not muscular, I'm not skinny," he recently told the Today Show. "But I'm sitting here." (Read more Gangnam Style stories.)

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