Over Half a Billion Views, Gangnam Style Inspires Boston’s International Students

By David Li, bostonese.com

Boston – As of October 22, the Youtube video titled “PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V” has had over 528 million views, over 2 million comments, 2.3 million comments, 4.3 millions likes and 223,000 dislikes. The video was uploaded on July 15, 2012. So, in about 100 days, the daily average views on Youtube is over 5 million per day.

Psy teaches the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a dance step on Tuesday, Oct. 23. (STAN HONDA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Once a student at BU for one semester in 1997, PSY went on to study at Berklee College of Music. The following video was produced by BU students about PSY as part of the You Speak series.

Watch this video on YouTube

PSY rode the success of Gangnan Style and became an international superstar in less than a few months. He appeared on Ellen, the Today Show, and Saturday Night Live within a span of 10 days in September 2012.

Many proud Asian students have tried to imitate PSY’s unique dance moves in landmarks around Boston area, such as outside Harvard Square Red Line T station and in front of the gate of Boston Chinatown. The success of PSY has helped to break the stereotype of international students from Asia, and may inspire many of them to enter the pop music industry.

Korean students at BU pointed out that Gangnam (which means south of the river) is an upscale district of South Korea’s capital city Seoul. And the Youtube video Gangnam Style makes fun of the lifestyle of rich people who live in the Gangnam district.

According to Wikipedia, PSY debuted in January 2001 with his full-length album titled PSY… From the Psycho World!. He later had to pay a fine due to accusations that the album contained “inappropriate content”. He was a rookie hip-hop singer that stirred up the Korean pop music scene with very blunt lyrics, peculiar dance moves and an unconventional appearance, on his way to become an international sensation.