When “Gangnam Style” came out a year ago, right away there was something different about it — a buzz not seen in quite some time. People were doing the peculiar horse dance and everybody was texting to ask if I had seen that “Korean video.” Mind you, I had not started working at NMR yet, so I had no idea that this video would become the bane of my existence for a brief period (until “Gangnam Style” nostalgia settled in), but even at the time, I said, “Hmm, I’d better keep an eye on this.” Lo and behold, I didn’t have to — “Gangnam Style” kept an eye on itself and forced the world to tune in and take notice of K-pop.
Like any relevant and bonafide pop culture phenomenon, “Gangnam Style” and its creator, Psy, have not weathered their ride without some controversy — but that is to be expected (ask Madonna). And since we’re about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the most watched YouTube video ever, it only seems appropriate that we take a look back at the year that was “Gangnam Style.”
July 15th, 2012: A dapper Korean man is about to change the world with the release of an upbeat dance track mocking the lifestyle of an upscale Korean neighborhood. It’s sort of an international version of “Beverly Hills” by Weezer.
The video achieves 500,000 views its first day.
July 23, 2012: The first “Gangnam Style” parody video is uploaded by Simon and Martina Stawski.
July 29th, 2012: First celebrity tweet — rapper T-Pain tells his fans to check it out.
Aug. 20th, 2012: His first American appearance: Psy dances to “Gangnam Style” at Dodger Stadium — a naive Jeff Klima was there asking, “Who the hell is that guy?” The Dodgers lose to the San Francisco Giants.
Sept. 1st, 2012: Overtakes Girls Generation’s “Gee” to become most-watched “K-pop” video on YouTube.
Sept. 3rd, 2012: “Gangnam Style” surpasses the 5 million views mark.