Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

K-pop invades U.S.


Korean Pop Singer PSY, the man behind the viral hit “Gangnam Style,” is taking YouTube by storm. His newest hit has captured the attention of millions and has people around the world mimicking his dance stylings since the song’s release.

K-pop is becoming an international sensation and has had a surprising impact on American pop-culture. The genre has recently topped iTunes charts and PSY’s “Gangnam Style” has been making a huge impression on the American music industry and, perhaps on an even greater scale, listeners in the United States and beyond.

K-pop encompasses a wide range of music genres from electronic to hip-hop to R&B to dubstep. With its outrageous music videos, flashy outfits and extremely catchy dance moves, K-pop is a largely visual genre that seems to fit right into the rising rave culture that has been taking over our music industry.

What’s so interesting about K-pop in America is that the songs are in Korean, yet we often find this genre of music even more addicting than songs in our own language. There have even been English parodies of the song written about both President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the weeks leading up to the presidential debate.

Thanks to smart phones, social media and our technology-driven culture, this genre is growing faster than ever before and is gaining popularity not only in Korean and American cultures but also all over the world. Although “Gangnam Style” has made an impression on pop culture internationally, it is not the first K-pop song to gain so much popularity in the United States. Korean music group, the Wonder Girls, were one of the first big K-pop artists to be introduced into the American music industry in 2009 and set the stage for future K-pop artists to make a name for themselves.

YouTube has even created an official K-pop channel. The iTunes chart topper “Gangnam Style” is meant to expose the lavish lifestyle of the extremely wealthy neighborhood Gangnam, located in Seoul, South Korea, and the trendy, exclusive, upper-class society in which those people exist.

Between PSY’s signature “horse riding” dance and his snazzy suits, it is hard to look away while watching this video. K-pop is definitely becoming the newest craze in the industry and continues to expand through social media. The music industry in America has desperately needed a fresh new type of pop music to satisfy the masses and K-pop has definitely given it the spark it needed.

K-pop is opening us up to a different culture and lifestyle than the majority of Americans are used to and this is just the beginning for artists like PSY, who are paving the way for a new and exciting market in Western culture.

Emily Abrams can be reached at [email protected].


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  • A

    AutumnwindOct 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I agree with the other person’s statement. Kpop is more than just PSY. There is Wonder Girls, but also there have been many other artists such as SNSD (Girl’s Generation), Super Junior, 2pm, 2ne1, Taeyang, Big Bang and 4minute (etc.) that have made amazing music with powerful lyrics and beautiful dance moves. PSY is like the young Justin Bieber of America, there is so much more to Kpop.

  • E

    EconomicmayhemOct 10, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Clueless article. Kpop is not psy. Go watch some kpop videos.