Two Views of ‘Gangnam Style’

UrbanFaith contributors Helen Lee and Jelani Greenidge on the joys and frustrations of the runaway hit video.

Have you seen it yet? Yeah, we’re talking about “Gangnam Style.” The YouTube video has more than 230 million views. The song is utterly infectious. The crazy dance is ubiquitous. And, most interestingly, South Korean rapper PSY is bringing attention to a whole new pop-culture scene.

In the wake of the video’s viral success, two of our regular contributors offer differing takes on the “Gangnam Style” phenomenon. Helen Lee, a Korean-American, concedes that the video is entertaining but worries that its true satirical message is being lost in an overabundance of exploitative media hype. And columnist Jelani Greenidge, who doesn’t hesitate to share his opinion about the song (“It’s amazing“), offers five lessons that church worship leaders can learn from “Gangnam Style” (no joke!).

Check out the articles, then let us know where you fall on the “Gangnam” spectrum.

  1. I enjoyed both “The Genius” and “Hitting Pause” articles, but feel that I resonated a bit more with the second; while it is true that for those into Christian media and entertainment there are certain factors that should apply (such as good production, quality video imagery, attention to detail, and so forth), the “Hitting Pause” article gets to the core of the point. Psy has elevated K-pop which is a positive thing, but has the satirical point of his video–the exposing of wealthy accesses–been lost in the hype? Also, Ms. Lee touches on the fact that while an artist may be creating his or her work to make a certain point, ‘fame’ may take that work in a completely different direction and create unintended fervor. Also, she very eloquently identifies her own cultural misgivings, which is a point that is so often lost when we focus on the wrong part of the story.