Periodically we comment on points in time when Hip-Hop, the international art form, impacts the greater society and regardless of all of the haters, thrusts itself into the dialogue of social commentary.
We call that feature: “When Hip-Hop Happens.”
However, everyone once in a while, in its zeal to be relevant and hip, pop culture and the media shoot a preemie and of course make a mess of everything.
Such is the case with PSY and the annoying and irrepressible Gangnam Style.
Although I have tried to ignore it since its emergence on the scene months ago, this bad penny of a pop culture statement not only won’t disappear or go away, it seems to be growing in popularity.
Boldly mislabeled as Hip-Hop by the same media that categorizes Rihanna, Chris Brown and Neyo as MC’s, this joke of a rapper has jumped onto the scene with a rhyme (I guess it’s in friggin Korean) and an annoying pony dance that could only be embraced by large groups of people born without the benefit of ever hearing a James Brown break beat.
This week Gangnam Style became the most watched video in the history of YouTube and served as the “cherry on top” of a career that could only flourish in our current dearth era of Hip-Hop.
Dressed in a tight-assed suit that only Pee Wee Herman could love, PSY has been embraced as a part of Hip-Hop culture like William Hung was embraced as a serious new artist among American Idol fans.
Be it dressed like Lady Ga Ga or performing with an aging MC Hammer on the 2012 edition of the American Music Awards, PSY makes my stomach hurt. At best he’s the afterbirth of an art form that has been seized by music company executives and spit back out into the world as R&B or Rap and Bullshit.
Endemic of today’s trend which brings more flash than substance to Hip-Hop, PSY and his popularity reminds me of the bad old days when the Fat Boys were doing movies and twisting with Chubby Checkers. Back then colorful groups, like Whistle were only bugging as Fred and Barney rolled out a whack-assed beat box to hawk Fruity Pebbles.
Although Hip-Hop in those days of the mid-80’s was becoming commercially successful for the first time in history, it proved to be the best of times and the worst of times. Had Eric B. and Rakim or KRS-ONE not come along, things may have gone in a catastrophically bad direction.
We were first assaulted by this silly Hip-Hop parody in July of 2012 when the sweaty PSY bumped and ground his way onto the internet and into the heart of those who have all but forgot about the four elements of the art form.
Since that time PSY and his dopey Gangnam style – which is named for a stylish district in Seoul, South Korea – no seriously, has become the hero of straight-laced adults and most recently, Mr. genie pants himself – Hammer.
However, in a world where colorful presentations and bling makes you an instant hit, PSY has managed to be taken seriously by at least his country, where he has sold more than 3 million downloads on iTunes in South Korea.
So until you go far, far away – we have to go on the record and state: That no matter how many award shows you perform on, how many singles are sold on iTunes and how many times your video out performs actual artists, Gangnam Style is not Hip-Hop! It is disrespectful to those who used to turn it out in the park and in the busy staircases to even allow the concept to cross your mind.
Shame on you American public, this novelty act is an affront to Hip-Hop and can only be taken as seriously as a song like “Flying Purple People Eaters” could be by Rock ‘N Roll.
So here at Boom Bap Radio we pray PSY and his tight-assed suit, take a slow boat to, err – South Korea and stop cheapening our culture. Dude – you’re paid, but they’re laughing at you – not with you.
We can’t get jiggy with that ish!