Twitter exploded Sunday (and Facebook with videos yesterday) with excitement as they eargasmed listening to the American Music Awards 2012’s ending show with Psy featuring MC Hammer, perfectly combining Gangnam Style with Too Legit to Quit. You guys, this is definitely the peak of Psy’s career. Can you get any better than resurrecting MC Hammer and performing WITH you?
But even with all the popularity surrounding Korean music at the moment, will it help the Korean pop scene in gaining more notoriety? I say no, but hear me out.
During the On The Red Carpet segment (right before the awards show), Psy was quickly interviewed by an ABC anchor who asked him how he felt about the ‘15 minutes of fame’ and what he’s doing to further himself on the new found glory. Psy slyly answered that he’s still got a lot of promoting to do with his song, and has several other countries to visit. For now, he wants to enjoy the ride.
It seems as though Psy recognizes that this may be his only claim to fame. Even with his stellar collaborations and an exclusive meeting with the United Nations, it’s quite possible for Psy to become old news pretty quickly. As it is with human nature and media, we’re always on to the next big thing.
MC Hammer was even quoted after the show, saying that his appreciation for Psy’s staple dance move is comparable to his own signature move, one of the major reasons why MC Hammer wanted to collaborate with Psy on this. But case in point, how long really was MC Hammer’s music career?
A popular question in the Korean music industry goes like this: how can THEY ride on the coattails of Psy’s recent success? Kpop has long tried to break through the American and European markets not only just for popularity and increased export of Korean content, but because selling music in other countries beside South Korea provides a major financial benefit. Popular musicians like BoA and Wonder Girls have also placed their bets on trying to claim the international music industry fame.
South Korean music producers have tried hard in previous years to crack the code on breaking the American market, by collaborating with American artists and producers, but it seems that their music loses a lot of traction once it passes the Asian borderline. Asian music really only seems to have a few places in American culture- video games and snarky YouTube parodies, and now Gangnam Style carved itself a little piece of the DJ’s pie in weddings. Finally something to replace the Macarena and Cha Cha Slide.
One notable success story stems from the Wonder Girls’ single “Nobody,” which became a big enough YouTube hit to warrant parodies and the girls the chance to tour with the Jonas brothers. Since then, seems like Korean producers were scrambling to create similar girl groups with catchy dance routines, when all it did was clog up the Korean radio waves with less-than-stellar one-hit girl groups.
When it comes down to it, there is no secret formula to viral success. People get stuck to the weirdest things, but it doesn’t mean we should go out there and create more weird shit to attract moths to. Asian music producers need to stop trying to appeal to the American market, and instead concentrate on creating good stuff that people want to watch and listen to. Instead, let the netizens do all the work of propagating the good shit throughout the web. Kpop got a good blip on the radar from Psy’s success, but they should not follow suit and try to recreate that same event, which I am sure they will try to do.
And if you haven’t seen it, you’re under a rock. Here it is: