OK, so now what?
What should America do with K-pop now that the “Gangnam Style” flood waters are starting to recede? Do we explore the rest of PSY’s catalog, or do we act like the whole horsey dance thing never happened? Should we start checking out other K-pop artists, or should we go back to ignoring the genre’s steady, world-wide march? I think we can all agree to continue complaining about dubstep, but it’s going to be really interesting to see where the American market for K-pop goes from here.
I suppose time will tell, but my own feelings on the matter were unexpectedly revealed this past Sunday evening, when I went to my friend Tex’s house for homemade chili and “America’s Game of the Week,” featuring “America’s Team” and the Eagles. At some point during the game, amid this hyper-American backdrop, Tex handed me his laptop, which was poised to play the YouTube video at the top of this post. The following few minutes felt very much like the first time I watched “Gangnam Style” – a delirious mix of color, overstimulation, laughing and amazement, punctuated at the end by a feeling that can best be described as “I have no idea what I just saw… but I like it.”
I think that’s part of the enjoyment for me. I don’t know much about K-pop or G-Dragon, and I definitely gloss over the lyrics that aren’t in English, but it all feels like pure, irresistible, somehow innocent fun. And “Crayon” has the added benefit of nailing two Western cultural references, with its play on the term “cray” and use of the deeply creepy phrase “Why so serious?”. Would I enjoy the song as much if I wasn’t seeing it through the lens of otherness? It’s hard to say, but the great thing is that I don’t feel compelled in the least to intellectualize it. It’s just fun, and (for me) that’s enough.
Watch above or listen below to see what you think. If you dig it too, then you can join me in welcoming K-pop’s continued American invasion. Let’s just hope it ends up better for us than it did for the people in Independence Day who went to the top of the Empire State Building to welcome the aliens.
Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to get your cray on.