Elise’s Top 10 Korean Songs of 2012
Psy – “강남 스타일 / Gangnam Style”
I have a love/hate relationship with this song and the phenomenon that has surrounded it this past year. I’m excited that a K-pop song has gone mainstream, but I’m disappointed it was this song and video. K-pop is so much more than some goofy guy in sunglasses doing a ridiculous dance. Not to mention that it’s really painful to continually hear “Gang-nam” mispronounced when it’s not even hard to pronounce.
For years, many different K-pop groups and solo artists have actively been trying to break into the American market (and therefore the global market), but have not quite succeeded. While international superstar singer/actor/dancer Rain made it onto the Colbert Report, and the Wonder Girls — whose “Nobody” was the #1 song in Asia in 2011 — even toured briefly with the Jonas Brothers; the American market is the largest and hardest to break in to in the world. Very talented groups like Big Bang and 2NE1 are able to sell out arenas in the US, but mainstream American culture is oblivious to music sung in any language but English (with the exception of a few Spanish phrases tossed in).