‘Gangnam Style’ is the New ‘Call Me Maybe’: How PSY Became the Internet’s Latest Hit

By: Crystal Bell / September 12, 2012

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Move over Carly Rae Jepsen. There’s a new viral sensation ready to knock you off your high horse — with a silly horse dance, no less.

Forget swag, swaggie and #YOLO, it’s all about “Gangnam Style” now. The international hit, from South Korean rapper PSY, is now making waves in the U.S. — the toughest market to crack for any foreign artist. As of Wednesday afternoon, the wacky video has over 152 million views on YouTube. Just don’t forget to recycle all of your old Call Me Maybe business cards.

Is “Gangnam Style” the new “Call Me Maybe?” Looks like it — so read on to find out everything you need to know about the trend. 

1. Psy didn’t need Justin Bieber to find internet stardom.

The success of “Call Me Maybe” can be traced back to Bieber. In January 2012, the Biebs and his girlfriend Selena Gomez were in Canada and heard the track on the radio. After they tweeted about it — and recorded a video of themselves and their famous friends lip synching along to the track — Jepsen instantly gained international attention.

But PSY didn’t have any outside help. Instead, he relied on his silly horse dance and wacky video concept to grab people’s attention. Within days of its release in Korea, the video received intensive coverage from various blogs and K-POP news sites, before getting picked up by viral trackers Buzzfeed and Gawker.

PSY even appeared at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in September, showing off his “Gangnam Style” on the VMA stage. Not to mention that this past week on Good Morning America, Times Square was filled with a flash mob learning the video’s  horse dance. On Friday, PSY is expected to make his Today show debut.

2. Even celebrities are embracing their inner “Gangnam Style.” 

British pop singer Robbie Williams, rapper T-Pain and singer Josh Groban have all tweeted about their love of PSY’s video. Then, superstar Britney Spears got a lesson on how to do PSY’s signature “Gangnam Style” dance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday.

Spears tweeted a link to the video, thanking PSY for the lesson. “LOL, thank u @psy_oppa for the surprise dance lesson yesterday http://youtu.be/QZmkU5Pg1sw  @TheEllenShow was going off Gangnam Style!”

3. Viral video parodies of the song are already flooding the web.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so PSY must be feeling the love after dozens of music video parodies of “Gangnam Style” hit the web. From Korean parodies like “Daegu Style” and “Hongdae Style” to lip-synched tributes created by K-POP fans across the world, “Gangnam Style” has even managed to transcend the pesky language barrier.

San Francisco newlyweds Stephani Nguyen and Jeremy Ueno paid homage the K-POP hit with their own hilarious video, which featured the couple — and their wedding party — mimicking PSY’s catchy choreography.

4. PSY signed to Scooter Braun’s record label, Schoolboy Records.

In September, Braun announced (via video) that he had signed PSY to his label, hoping to make the rapper “the first Korean artist to break a big record in the United States.” With PSY at his side, the two toasted, “to Psy, to Korea, to breaking down barriers, to the future.”

Did we mention that his fellow labelmates include Bieber and Jepsen? Could there be a possible collaboration in the works? Perhaps it’s Braun who’s trying to take over the internet.

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