10:40 am - 11/15/2012

"Gangnam Style" Drops to #5 on Billboard Hot 100, But That's Okay...

He's on the cover of Billboard magazine anyway!



(This is an excerpt. The full article is in the magazine.)

On the afternoon of Aug. 15, Korean rapper PSY and the overseas business manager from his record label, YG Entertainment, arrived in Los Angeles after a 13-hour flight from Seoul. At LAX, they were greeted by a smattering of fans and YG's American rep, who ushered them into a waiting car. PSY was going to Hollywood.

As his ride rolled through L.A. traffic, PSY, aka Park Jae-sang, cheerfully reflected on his whirlwind summer. It had been a month to the day since the video for "Gangnam Style," the first single off his sixth album, "PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1," was uploaded to YouTube. A satirical ode to his Seoul neighborhood, "Gangnam Style" had all the trademarks of a PSY anthem: an aggressive rap with a catchy hook, coupled with a whimsical dance step and a comedic, over-the-top video. Like much of his previous work, "Gangnam Style" was very much a PSY DIY: He wrote and co-produced the song and also co-directed the video. In Korea, where PSY has topped multiple domestic music charts a half-dozen times during his 12-year career, the record was an instant hit.



But then the unexpected happened. Thanks to social-news site Reddit and tweets from high-profile artists like Robbie Williams and T-Pain, "Gangnam Style" went viral beyond Korea, spreading across Asia, Europe and South America-and now, finally, to the United States.

As "Gangnam Style" approached 10 million YouTube views at the end of July, Scooter Braun-the music executive famed for discovering YouTube-sensations-turned-pop-stars Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen-tweeted a link to the video, writing: "HOW DID I NOT SIGN THIS GUY!?!??!" What Braun didn't reveal then was that he had already planted the seed for a secret meeting with the rapper. PSY's video was pulling in more than 1 million new viewers per day. If the rest of the world was flocking to it, Braun figured, why wouldn't the United States?

And so, slightly more than two weeks and 15 million YouTube views after that tweet, "Gangnam Style" was on its way to Braun's house.

By then, the buzz was loud enough that PSY was garnering interest from labels outside of Korea. One German rep had recently warned PSY's team: "The first thing an American company will do is try to make you do an English version." (And, in fact, one U.S. label had already reached out to YG-and were rebuffed-with such a request.)


But PSY had traveled to the States with an open mind. In past years, he had watched some of his younger YG labelmates and other Korean stars-fresh-faced girl groups and slickly produced male singers-venture off to America with hopes of breaking into the U.S. market. As a 34-year-old solo rapper, PSY was far from the typical Korean "idol." He debuted in 2001, well before the current K-pop wave, and had become as famous for his offstage antics and rebel persona as for his actual music. Through it all, he never harbored ambitions of making it big in the States. To PSY, whatever happened next would be extra.

And what happened next is this: PSY and his entourage were welcomed into the backyard of Braun's house in Hollywood. The Korean rapper and the American music executive greeted each other like brothers.

Soon, the two got down to business. Braun was characteristically straightforward: "This is what I want to do: I want to sign you. And I want to keep the song exactly the way it is." PSY looked up at Braun, surprised. "You want to keep this in Korean?" he asked. Braun nodded in response.

PSY paused to let this sink in. He had never met Braun, four years his junior, but he was well aware of his reputation for shepherding No. 1 hits. Could a song with Korean lyrics really reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100? Or, perhaps, a better question: Why couldn't it?

"All right, let's do this," PSY said, smiling. "But first, let's go to Koreatown tonight and drink."


In the weeks after that initial meeting, the Scooter Braun machine quickly went into overdrive: an international multiple-album deal for PSY with Republic through Braun's School Boy Records (excluding Korea and Japan, where PSY will still be under YG); a succession of masterfully orchestrated appearances on the MTV Video Music Awards, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Today" and "Saturday Night Live"; and sudden, inescapable pop-culture ubiquity. With "Gangnam Style" on a relentless march to the top of the Hot 100, PSY's first, still-untitled U.S. release has been fast-tracked for November. The song's official clip has racked up more than 500 million views on YouTube as the song itself has sat secure at No. 2 on the Hot 100 for four weeks and registered 1.6 million downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In the meantime, the American music industry has been left to make sense of the "Gangnam Style" phenomenon.

To some insiders, the fact that a monster international hit originated in Korea isn't all that surprising. After all, during the last four years, Korean pop has gone from a foreign curiosity-see Stephen Colbert's 2008 mock K-pop video and dance-off with Korean singer Rain on "The Colbert Report" - to a legitimate global movement. Having dominated Asia and made inroads in Europe and South America, K-pop had lately been on the cusp of traction in the U.S. market. The Korean music industry grossed nearly $3.4 billion in the first half of 2012, according to Billboard estimates, a 27.8% increase from the same period last year. Yet America was still a largely untapped frontier.

'HE'S A SUPERSTAR'

It's mid-September, a month after PSY signed with Braun, and it seems like he hasn't stopped moving since. He's halfway through a 24-hour day that began with a live performance on NBC's "Today," will continue with rehearsals for the following night's "SNL" and finally end with an impromptu show alongside Usher at New York club Circle. By tomorrow, "Gangnam Style" will have reached No. 1 on the iTunes charts in the United States, the 19th country that the song has conquered. The following week, it will land at No. 2 on the Hot 100. For now, PSY has a brief moment to collect his thoughts about his ongoing American experiment.

"The basic principle I have is that what is most Korean is what is the most international," PSY says in his native tongue. "I don't want to come here and act like I'm an American. I want to showcase the dynamic potential Korea has, and I want to prove that as an artist."

Those in his corner believe a number of factors set the stage for PSY to succeed stateside. Having been schooled in the States (he briefly attended Boston University and Berklee College of Music), he knows enough English to navigate U.S. media; he has more than a decade of experience performing huge shows in Korea as a solo artist; and, at 34, he's business-minded enough to be able to make his own decisions without label micromanagement. In essence, PSY came to America as a ready-made star.

"I don't put him in the same category [as other K-pop artists]. I put PSY in the same category as some of the biggest acts in the world," Republic president/CEO Monte Lipman says. A few years ago, Lipman had flirted with the idea of signing the Wonder Girls, who never ended up aligning with an American label. "PSY is a superstar. He's got that charisma, that sense of confidence and showmanship."

For his part, PSY is sensitive about discussing his American success in comparison to his K-pop predecessors. "When the Korean press and the netizens [Internet commenters in Korea] talk about my progress in America, they somewhat poke fun of the other K-pop acts, and I think that's wrong," he says. "It doesn't matter who it is. If a Korean artist reaches to the top, we're all ready to stand up and applaud for him or her."

And, at the moment-by virtue of one of the most improbable pop hits in recent memory-PSY finds himself the most globally famous Korean artist ever.

"Even if the cultures are different, a human being usually sees the same thing and feels a similar type of enjoyment," he says. "When you see Niagara Falls, you're going to feel the same thing. It's grand, and it's amazing. So, I think, what's already been proven and tested in Korea, will work here.

"I was nothing here," he continues, as a Republic rep suddenly appears to rush him to the next stop on his itinerary. "So that's why I can do anything."

******************************

Oh yeah, this news...

After staying on the no.2 spot for seven weeks, Psy stepped further from the no. 1 spot, landing on no. 5.

On November 14, Billboard reported that Psy′s Gangnam Style had dropped from no. 2 to no. 5 on the Hot 100 chart.

Psy had been aggressively promoting in the country and even brought back good news from Europe, winning the Best Video Award at the 2012 Europe Music Awards, but still his ranks started to fall back.

On the On-Demand Songs Chart it fell from no. 1 to no. 3, and its radio airplay also fell from no. 14 to no. 22.

No. 1 again went to Maroon 5′s One More Night, which had been blocking Gangnam Style′s rise to the top. With this Maroon 5 has managed to stay on top for nine weeks in a row, standing shoulder to shoulder with Carly Rae Jepsen′s Call Me Maybe for the most no. 1 wins this year.

The no. 2 spot went to Rihanna′s new single, Diamonds. Ke$ha′s Die Young and fun.′s Some Night followed close by.


(snipped)



Source: Billboard.com, Yahoo! Philippines
b1gay4 15th-Nov-2012 05:02 am (UTC)
ew how do people not realise ke$ha's "die young" video is full of satanic references????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
lol psy is still getting money i bet he doesn care
kuuuchan 15th-Nov-2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
ikr, ke$ha is the new illuminati princess
lazmy 15th-Nov-2012 05:21 am (UTC)
i will never be sick of gangnam style tbh play it at my funeral idc
jjoeyjjang 15th-Nov-2012 05:57 am (UTC)
same
mjspice 15th-Nov-2012 09:11 am (UTC)
I'll play it at my wedding tbh.
markthatcoin 15th-Nov-2012 10:28 am (UTC)
I just attended my first post-Gangnam Style wedding and there was even a family flash mob during the reception

I might be biased because it was MY family I was watching, but it will always be hilarious
blkjck 15th-Nov-2012 05:23 am (UTC)
cant wait for diamonds to go number 1
beanii 15th-Nov-2012 05:31 am (UTC)
It always pains me to see that someone so smart and well aware of the limitations of his fame is continually piped with "you're just a one hit wonder" and "everyone knows you as just the funny and crazy Asian guy".
For someone who knows it very well himself and is willing to try and break those notions, I think he deserves more optimism than what he's receiving.

For all the crap he's been receiving, I hope his career continues on from Gangnam style and slaps every person who wanted to spread every centimeter of their negativity all over the place in their faces!
nickle4apickle 15th-Nov-2012 06:45 am (UTC)
*Applauds*
love_keiko 15th-Nov-2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
YUP!
asth77 15th-Nov-2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
this
harmlessbondage 18th-Nov-2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
ITA. at least he's approaching it from a very pragmatic standpoint. if nothing else, PSY knows what he is doing and he isn't letting the success of gangnam style get to his head and cloud his business sense and judgment.

but it gets to me. it's just so ignorant. PSY is an extremely well-established artist in Korea. just because you never heard of him in your country until one song went viral doesn't make him a "one-hit-wonder." i also don't necessarily agree with the idea of hitting the billboard charts as determining a song's "hit" status and furthermore, that "hit" status determining whether an artist has a legitimate career.

it'd be like if aishwarya rai starred (or even had a bit part) in an american movie, and people started calling it her "breakthrough" role or lamented if it didn't kick off her career. especially when journalists and career critics make such statements, i want to yell, "do your research! this is your job!" people (even respected music critics) were saying the small thing about gotye when "somebody i used to know" started getting airplay, forgetting that gotye has been an established and popular indie musician for years. it's so lazy
jjoeyjjang 15th-Nov-2012 05:57 am (UTC)
the us charts will never be the same when he's gone tbh
goshipgurl 15th-Nov-2012 06:37 am (UTC)
scooter braun is a genius
obviousgirl 15th-Nov-2012 09:17 am (UTC)
Has a clip of Psy's new single been released yet?
markthatcoin 15th-Nov-2012 10:31 am (UTC)
Afaik he has only revealed that the dance is about sports

Kind of thankful he has new international mgmt so we don't have to go off blind faith in yg's personal announcement of a comeback
xxmannequin 15th-Nov-2012 11:08 am (UTC)
I still can't believe I saw my dad dancing to Gangnam style, lol.
"I don't put him in the same category [as other K-pop artists]. I put PSY in the same category as some of the biggest acts in the world," Republic president/CEO Monte Lipman says. A few years ago, Lipman had flirted with the idea of signing the Wonder Girls, who never ended up aligning with an American label.
ouch.
I am so happy for him, and it's really nice of him to mention how S.Korean netizens tend to put down other artists in compression to him rn, hell we all do it, and to say that he feels like that's wrong.
soramai 15th-Nov-2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
I don't put him in the same category [as other K-pop artists]. I put PSY in the same category as some of the biggest acts in the world," Republic president/CEO Monte Lipman says. A few years ago, Lipman had flirted with the idea of signing the Wonder Girls, who never ended up aligning with an American label. "PSY is a superstar. He's got that charisma, that sense of confidence and showmanship.

the shade!
so WG don't have charisma and sense of confidence?
love_keiko 15th-Nov-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
i have 506 theories on why wonder girls will never be successful stateside---or any other kpop group for that matter.

but i do not appreciate that shade even a little bit.
koutaishi 15th-Nov-2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
WG have zero presence on stage/TV/photos zzz
asth77 15th-Nov-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
nope
mjspice 15th-Nov-2012 12:31 pm (UTC)
YAY OPPA!
goldynchickie 15th-Nov-2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
Psy ain't mad.

koutaishi 15th-Nov-2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
what is up with Billboard constantly trying to push Korean artists? they were the only ones giving WG any attention at all. are they on the payroll of the Korean Ministry of K-Pop or whatever?

anyway, PSY, it's time to hang it up gorl, you're done

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