• taraterrrific

    Thank you for this, I agree whole-heartedly ;A;

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    I wouldn’t consider Psy’s success a YG victory. To have a victory, you have to actively compete. Psy’s sudden popularity, by all published accounts, took YG COMPLETELY by surprise. It was obvious even to borderline K-pop fans that YG was banking on 2NE1 and/or Big Bang to make an impact on the US scene. That Psy did it was completely unexpected. That would be like if you had a starting 5 basketball team, but the towel boy managed to wander onto the court and make the game winning shot (not meant as a slam on Psy, but even Psy acknowledged he was a bit of an afterthought in the company before this phenomenon). YG’s reluctance to jump into Psy’s spotlight is smart. If he tried to jump in there, it would just look — to me, at least — like that shameless guy who sticks his face in front of the camera simply because he was standing close by when something great happened.

    You know how there is a link to that article on the side about Psy (possibly) not doing K-pop any favors? This falls under that category. The most horrific thing I can imagine is other entertainment companies seeing Gangnam Style and making the mistake of thinking it can be manufactured.

    YG didn’t manufacture Psy’s success — pop culture manufactured Psy’s US success. Psy is about as far away from what you would normally see within YG as to be almost alien. Sure, GD does eccentric things, and other artists like 2NE1 wear loud fashions on occasion, but there is always a method to all the madness in there. At the end of the day, GD still wants to be taken seriously as a hip hop influenced artist. 2NE1 still stands behind their female empowerment concept. Sex appeal gets thrown around in all the videos wantonly. Psy? He knows he isn’t a sex symbol. He knows people don’t follow him for some wannabe thug image. He does what he does and doesn’t apologize; I can respect him for that.

    If JYP is half as intelligent as he is made out to be, then he will realize Psy’s success should have no bearing on K-pop’s move into the west. Gangnam Style isn’t a calculated move by the K-entertainment world to infiltrate the west — it was an absolute lark that exploded into a phenomenon, no more, no less. These things happen on occasion. They are never indicators of some monumental shift in the status quo.

    Turning K-pop into an endless stream of absurd internet-style memes just to appeal to the west is a horrid notion. Why should they become clown caricatures just to get their foot in the door? It isn’t as if there are not genuinely talented artists in K-pop. They don’t always do the kinds of concepts and songs that show off any real talent, but talent is there in the genre. 

    The point of all of this is, you cannot manufacture what Gangnam Style achieved. Even Psy is going to realize that soon enough. 

    You don’t think Billy Ray Cyrus was hobnobbing with all the rich and famous folks for the few months-to-a-year that Achy Breaky Heart was popular? Was I the only one who saw the videos of politicians, actors, etc, doing the line dance all of a sudden? I think he might have even hosted SNL, too. That is just how these pop culture phenomenons work — they’re born, they burn bright for their short life cycle, then they die. Always.

    The best thing JYP can do for the Wonder Girls is to let them be themselves. I agree that much with the article. But he should not be sitting in a dark room “flinging papers”, unless he is more out of touch with the American music scene than we realize.

    • http://twitter.com/jms177 Justy


    • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

      THIS ^^ At least someone is intelligent here, rather than harking JYP to follow Psy’s footsteps.

    • http://twitter.com/SrilathaR Srilatha Rajamani

      Your response is fantastic. My favorite sentence is: “He does what he does and doesn’t apologize; I can respect him for that”.This statement, IMHO, personifies the American psyche

      What I am trying to understand from all this is: Why the desperate need to penetrate the US market? It is not like this country is the mothership of all that is music. My advice to K-POP musicians and their promoters is: be true to your self, have pride in your skills and do not compromise on your music. Do not crave for acceptance into the US market to the extent that you lose your essence, your uniqueness. Music is a universal language. Just believe in your music and do what you do best. If the American market does not follow you, it is their loss.

      • Waetoria

        I think success in foreign markets, especially the U.S., lends a prestige that is incomparable to anything else and hard for Americans to understand. When I lived there, people would tell me any connection they had to the U.S. as if this was a point of pride in itself.

        Also Korean media companies have to expand abroad for financial reasons since they would be unprofitable if they just stuck to Korea. So they looked to Japan, which is geographically and culturally very close, but America is THE market so why not go after it?

      • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

        It’s our loss for not following a copy of our music? Get serious

        • http://twitter.com/SrilathaR Srilatha Rajamani

          You really must read and comprehend my whole post before making off-the-cuff remarks. I am talking about pride and self confidence in your own work. Besides, do you seriously think American music is original? Even hip-hop has African origins. All music is derivative – all from the same 7 basic notes. And fusing sounds from all parts of the world adds to the richness of music. So yes, if the American market closes its mind to the richness of the world’s music, it is their loss.

          I think all music is a blessing and musicians are these special people who share this blessing with the world. So instead of debating original v/s imitation, lets root for them

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            It’s original to where it’s not imitating or knocking off another country’s music

            Didn’t Country, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Blues, Rock and Pop* originate from America?….

          • http://twitter.com/SrilathaR Srilatha Rajamani

            Once again, explaining in the simplest possible words, music belongs to no country. It is universal. The genres you have listed – none of them originated in America.
            Country: Old England
            Blues: African / Old England
            Hip Hop: African
            Jazz:Africa, Old England / Europe
            Gospel: Africa, Europe
            Rock / Pop – Mixture of all of the above. quite simply popular music.. and again, not an American invention.
            However, I do not wish to argue any more on this. Your are entitled to your views and I am entitled to mine.

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            You’re really reaching

          • http://twitter.com/DeniseHuxxtable S☀L

            You are reaching so far it’s ridiculous. There’s a difference between influence and origin. All those genres you listed definitely have INFLUENCES from different parts of the world. But as we know them today, they were created by Americans in America. They ORIGINATED in the US.

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            Yeah she was hella reaching

          • Elizabeth Griffin

            Yes, Africans who came to this country and are AFRICAN American. It’s not like another race stole hip hop from another race and made it popular in America. Hip Hop was made by Africans in America and now it is American. That being said, I do think K-Pop is a copy of American music and I can appreciate those artists who are just doing their own thing.

    • Waetoria

      Indeed how does one reproduce a spontaneous phenomenon? Sadly, knowing Korean companies, there is no stopping them from trying to manufacture spontaneity.

    • Waetoria

      “Turning K-pop into an endless stream of absurd internet-style memes just to appeal to the west is a horrid notion…”

      Agree. There has to be a level of self-respect and dignity that should be maintained. K-pop may end up just shooting itself in the foot by misunderstanding Psy’s success and trying to replicate it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Juicy.Strawberry.1 Choi Reisha

    I agree fully with what you said and had the same question and awe at how Psy oppa could have made it and not the Wonder Girls who have been working at it for years.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    Okay…so maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t think there’s a difference between Kpop and American pop other than the language. Personally, I think it makes sense for Kpop artists to release songs in English for American comebacks. “Gangnam Style” became popular because the video, not because music in other languages was deemed “fun” and “cool” by American audiences. 

    I think that if Kpop groups want to show a different side to the American audience…well, they should really try to play up the “group” aspect. I’d love more harmonies, just saying. Wonder Girl’s acapella performance of “Wake Up” on ClevverTV was a step in the right direction, I think. They seemed really in sync.

    I agree that they should be more fun, though. They actually are pretty fun girls. Ironically, they are much better in English interviews (with Allkpop or EatYourKimchi) than Korean ones, where they are kind of awkward. If they want to show off their fun side, I think they should release an English version of “Like This”. :)

  • http://twitter.com/catEYEx3 Clairi

    I’m part of the group of people who think Psy and ‘Gangnam Style’ is just  a one hit wonder kind of thing and isn’t doing anything for Kpop breaking into America. I’m also part of the group who doesn’t see why Kpop wants to break into America, and doesn’t care at all. To be honest. . .I can never see people with their iPods out listening to Bigbang and quoting their lyrics like they do Beyonce or Rihanna songs. Or any of the idols having more than one big U.S. hit.

    America has many stereotypes about other cultures, just like other countries have stereotypes about us. The main reason I think Gangnam Style is so popular is because it’s a Asian guy doing a funny dance singing in a language we think is weird and we don’t understand. No one really thinks, “Oh, I should try other videos!” and goes look up all the talented South Korean singers out there. JYP should have never took the Wonder Girls too America and let them dominate Asia; as a fan of both JYP Nation and SNSD, I think SNSD’s main competition leaving definitely helped their popularity. . .a lot. I don’t want to see Psy have an English single do horrible, but I could see it happening.

    IF he makes a more serious English club song, everyone could laugh at him – they won’t appreciate him being serious. IF he makes another silly song, everyone could laugh at him – they’ll think he’s trying too hard to have continued success. Or, it could just be ignored by everyone. . . Just some thoughts I wanted to share~

  • http://twitter.com/superwoman5060 Hannah

    “Dont be afraid to embrace your Korean-ness”


    your asian! embrace it! Its new, exotic, fresh, and something that Americans will be drawn to. Thats one of the reasons why im looking forward to 2ne1’s english album with Will.i.am. I remember him saying to the girls that he wanted people to talk about their songs like “its that song by those asian girls from korea!”. He doesnt want to cover up their ethnicity, he wants to ENHANCE it.

    • SamiSwanSion

      Add to it, I don’t know why any Korean artists would feel shame in rapping or singing a line or two in their native tongue, because I mean that’s absolutely ruined the careers of Pitbull, Iglesias, and Shakira. 

    • sleptopia

      We heard that all before 10-15 years ago with Jpop. If that is the reason that K-pop becomes popular don’t expect it to stay that way for long. The fact that the ‘different-ess’ was what made J-pop popular meant that people got bored of it quite quickly.

    • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

      I so hope you are not kidding me. So far, 2NE1 is all about West sounding, West-style appearance, West-styled attitude. There is almost no part of 2NE1 that reminds me of Korea. So yeah, no. 2NE1, WG and almost all of kpop are basically patterned from the West and it’s not going to change anytime soon.

  • LimpyLimpious

    What JYP should do is haul the WG back to Korea. How many years has passed since their peak of popularity in Korea and the beginning of chase for American success?

    Both in YG and SM are aware that main target for kpop remains Asia, and West can only be regarded as niche market, too wide to hold concerts and stuff. It seems that that album of 2NE1 with the dude from BEP also won’t ever see the daylight, with 2NE1 going on world tour with their Korean songs and all.

    Everybody is aware that PSY is a one-hit wonder. I wish PSY the best luck, but I think that Psy and everybody else know that kpop’s future lies in Asia, everybody but JYP, it seems.

    Am I the only one that finds ironic the similarities between PSY’s success in the West and WG’s in the Korea? You know, the repetitive/annoying/whatever lyrics of Gagnam Style (“Oppar Gagnam Style”, “Hey, sexy laydeeeee”) and Tell Me (“tell me, tell me, ttt tell me etc.) that drill into your ears and stay there, then the infectious and easy-copied dance like the horse dance and Tell  Me dance, funny MVs  for GS and Nobody, then their friendly appearance and many many more.

    And it really is funny how far Gagnam style has reached every corner of the world. Here where I live, people usually don’t care for any fads in the West, except for Macarena, and Lady G. They didn’t care for Numa Numa dude, Achey Breaky, Justin Bieber, and the rest. But almost everybody knows Gagnam Style, there was even a flash-mob recently.

    And since Seoulbeats recently went with a lot of articles in the list-format, I suggest that SB adopts it and expands them. You know that lists are the rage on the blogs these days :)
    Also a catchy title and here you go. I’d like to see something like 5 Most-Disastrous Business Decisions In The History Of Kpop, and include there stuff like pulling WG from Korea at the height of fame, and how SNSD took their place with same success formula and rakes in money, etc.

    And I must say that I really like this article and the writing style. I like the cheekiness, and an attitude that kpop isn’t just a bunch of talentless idols, carbon copies of US music and the rest stuff that I personally don’t agree with it. And most of electropop songs in US, Japan and Korea are influenced with European music, so kpop is not a carbon copy of American music, since today’s electronic influences came and are coming mainly from Europe.

  • http://www.twitter.com/veiledheart veiledheart

    I think the only thing kpop needs to do is to hook up with RedOne and Rami and get them a nice hit. Almost every major hit recently seems to involve one of them. I know SM has used swedish songwriting and production as well as the fantastic Thomas Troelsen of Private fame, but go all the way with the big boys.  Give me one more version of Darin’s Girl Next Door, Gaga’s Just Dance,  Nicki Minaj’s Starships or any of the other songs that RedOne has produced using the same exact backing track. Get Rami to make you I Want It That Way part 3 and boom, number 1 album.  The US seems to be really into hearing the same exact song sung by various artists so go ahead and pay, get the hit and get your foot in the door. 

    Seriously though, I think for kpop to truly work in the states, I feel like they need to be ahead of the trend or on the trend. At the moment they are behind the trend. Listen to what’s on the radio, what’s hot. It’s not what kpop is peddling atm. If The wanted and Cher Lloyd can do it, kpop can too. 

    • http://twitter.com/rentrule12 ana

      Instead of Redone  substitute it with with Max Martin and Dr. Luke

      • http://www.twitter.com/veiledheart veiledheart

        them too. Any of the major swedish kingmakers will work.

  • springheart

    I feel like JYP has the right idea, philosophy, but just doesn’t know how to do with it. WG has always done catchy, easy to dance songs, and music that is listenable to every one which is the same as Psy’s Gagnam Style but what makes him an overnight sensation was that he is himself and I can’t say that for WG. I like their music and always have been but people nowadays are not interested in simple songs. They want more drama, more complexity, more crazy concepts, Gaga for example. Psy brought something new and i guess that’s something JYP needs to learn from. I read it somewhere a while back JYP criticized BoA and Se7en failure  because their music seems Americanized but now he does this to the WG. Making an appearance in the WG’s mv or TV shows doesn’t make it Asian. I am excited about their US album but with American producer mostly making their songs I expect an Americanized WG not the WG that bring something new to the US music scene and as a long time fan I would still buy their music even though i expect something more or unique. I am just happy to see that they look happy, healthy, growing and they still have that energy performing their music in concerts. As a long time fan, WG going back to Korea or staying in the US doesn’t matter to me anymore because i like WG in Korea and WG in the U.S. By the way, WG’s English lyrics are not terrible. They make sense compare to some. Also i like to add something to the “embracing Koreanese”, they can embrace the Koreanese if they sing it in Korean but in terms of music i think KPOP is the same as American POP/ European POP.

  • soluiz

    I remember celerity tweets of like this. Was it will Smith? YG is pretty active actually. Lurking bts with his dark coloured cap and shirt. But yeah he avoids the camera.

  • Aoren1703

    Tbh i feel as though we should wait to see how far Psy goes in order to say JYP can learn from this. I will not deny the fact that Gangnam Style has obtained international success but I am more curious about what will happen after.

    ~Will he be a one hit wonder?
    ~Will people ever take him seriously?
    ~Will people ever not just know him as ‘The Asian Guy’ Who sung that Gangnam song? 

      Those are my honest worries for Psy. Often with people who have a hit of this size on their hands can never live up to it afterwards. Yes, he did sign with Justin Beibers’ manager but will  that be enough?
      A lot of people around me keep thinking he’s some kind of comedian who just got lucky with this song. Most don’t even know he’s Korean. Heck a lot of people don’t even realize there is a North Korea and a South Korea. I’ve even had a girl tell me: “That Gangnam singer was just trying to support his family when he made this, he’s really a comedian! Oh and the girl in the video is 40 something with a 21 year old son!” Naturally i was just like….. >_> “No.”

      The other major question that comes to mind is: 

    ~What will this do to other Kpop acts?

       Tiger JK recently performed at an event and while he was rapping some hecklers in the crowd kept yelling out to him to dance gangnam style. It was even said that someone said “Hey, your asian dance the horse dance!” It got so bad that Tiger JK had to stop his performance and leave the stage cause that’s all they would yell. That’s just one of a few cases i’ve heard about. 

      I do have my reservations about this whole Gangnam style craze but I would like to make it clear that I am happy for Psy. I jam out to it all the time in my car when it’s on the radio. But those were just a few of the thoughts i had.

  • http://twitter.com/TheGIJo Joanna Marin 조안나

    I think JYP should just let Wonder Girls be handled by an American company if they really intend on pushing WG popularity in the West. I mean, yeah, KPop must have its market in the US but its really hard to reach that global superstardom without the help of American labels. We may have heard about SNSD and other Asian stars being signed by American labels but they’re pretty much involved only as to the extent of distribution of their records.I find it all but a major media hype. I wanna make comparison with Blush, Far East Movement and Charice, not the biggest Asian idols in the west but it really helps to be “in demand” out of Korea once an international label handles you. 

    I’m a believer of concept of “A Real American knows what a real American wants.” US alone is invaded with too much Pop music already. Another addition to that crowd wouldn’t make much difference to what the other West singers does.
    What bothers me though is that, why do they keep on pushing the American dream without exploring their Asian market first? There are so much “music market” that they haven’t touched on that they seem to be losing because of too much focus on the US market.Also, I see also as a big help to WG if they are conversant in English. SNSD and WG CAN but they couldn’t just rely on Lim, Tiffany, and Jessica. Remember, as an artist you were trying to promote an English song therefore your audience do need to hear you out too to talk as if you understand what you were singing in the song.As far as “tweets” are concerned, they’re a big help too just like the guys of Glee tweeting SM artists, Ian Somerhalder chatting with Miss A’s Suzy, Nina Dobrev and 2ne1 but those tweets are of limited help too.  MEH.I think its time to give up the “American dream”. Its not really for all. I mean, we have to give it to Wonder Girls too for moving in the US at their peak and somehow forgetting that they’re Kpop queens of their era. You really cannot rule two places at the same time. World domination requires some sacrifices. Racism aside, it’ll take a long time before Asians could truly invade US. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

      Ponder this for a moment. The Hispanic community is the second largest racial group in the US. We have become so used to it, hearing Spanish is almost an everyday occurrence. In some regions, there are Spanish language radio stations, tv stations, newspapers, cultural events, and so on. Hispanic culture has become a part of everyday life for many in the states. 

      Out of all the primarily Spanish speaking artists to come out, only Shakira and Gloria Estefan have forged anything approaching superstardom in the US — and that stretches over three decades worth of pop music. RBD didn’t invade the US; Ricky Martin’s success was fleeting, and the list goes on. 

      Saying the US is a long way from being primed for a Korean invasion is an understatement. This country’s largest ethnic group hasn’t made but a few dents in the music scene. Also, the only non-Americans that have led a sustainable “invasion” are the British — and they have a huge advantage because we speak the same language, just with different slang terminology.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

        Here’s a question then: do you have to be from a Spanish speaking culture to like Gloria Estefan and Shakira? Gloria, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Enrique, etc–they were (and a couple still are) huge and successful in America. But there’s no way you can attribute that solely to Latino listeners. 

        Shakira’s La Tortura was completely in Spanish. But it was one of the biggest songs of that year in the US and went 5x platinum worldwide. And Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” was the most watched video on Youtube in ’09–everyone was listening to that. 

        To what extent does the number of Hispanics or Latinos in the US account for the success of a Hispanic or or Latino artist? Does that mean that if there were more Koreans in America, K-Pop would do better?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

          You don’t have to come from anywhere to like anything — especially music. That is not the point. The point is, Americans — as narrow-minded as we can be — are more conditioned to accept what we consider usual, not unusual. At least in any serious, not to mention sustaining, manner. If we’re going to consider the attitudes of the American “people,” not the American “person,” then the first step is realizing that broad acceptance is a decidedly (sadly) rare trait here in the good ol’ US-of-A.

          Does that mean if there were more Koreans in America, K-pop would do better? Yes, to put it bluntly. Is that fair? Hell no. But it is the reality.

          Latin artists who are successful in the US are not successful simply because of Latino audiences — they are bolstered also by non-Latino American listeners who have become so used to the Latino culture that it no longer FEELS foreign. The lyrics may be in a different language, but it is a language we hear everyday on our sitcoms, in our children’s programs, on our sports programs with stars like Albert Pujols, A-Rod, Pacquiao, and more. 

          The one thing America does better than anyone else is (and this is not always a good thing): appropriation. 

          Appropriation happens naturally here. It is a gift, and a consequence, of being the biggest melting pot on the planet Earth. Korea may have created an entire genre of music meant to emulate whole swaths of American musical genres, but they still have nothing on us. 

          Only in America can you drive recklessly in a German car, while eating Chinese food, talking to your Jewish friend about a new Mexican telenovela, and get pulled over by an Irish cop with an African American partner outside of an Italian pizzeria. 

          We just haven’t gotten to Korea, yet.

          • http://twitter.com/SrilathaR Srilatha Rajamani

            :-) “The one thing America does better than anyone else is (and this is not always a good thing): appropriation.”

            You posts always have these great nuggets that just echo my thoughts though I wish I could express them as elegantly.

            This is sort of parallels the argument my husband and I are having currently re iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3. I purchased the latter (moving from the old iPhone) and he is sticking to the former. He says we can never go wrong with the original. I’m maintaining that the Galaxy S3, albeit not the original, has simply made the original even better.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

            Honestly, I am a simple man when it comes to phones. If I can talk on them, clearly, and maybe search the internet really quick if I need to look something up, I don’t much pay attention to the brand. But I probably would applaud your husband’s loyalty to his original brand. 

            That said, I’m going to get hypocritical and admit this doesn’t apply to computers. I would never stick with a Dell simply because it was one of the first computers I bought back in the day. Not when Asus filled my 20-something gaming experiences with such sheer joy and vibrancy. 

            Depending on what time of day it is, I either support brand loyalty or constant upgrading. I’m not going to lie and pretend I’m always consistent in this area.:P

          • Ditu3ka

            I´m from Europe but I have been to US many times and you just made me realized what word I was searching for to describe my inner feeling when meeting US culture – appropriation = it´s what has made US. And you´re right, it´s not always positive.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshTavener1 J Tavener

    Eh Wonder Girls are working slow and steady tbh.. It’s like comparing Oranges and Apples. PSY is a viral video.. It’s hard to compare the two.  I wouldn’t write them off straight away since Like Money is actually getting some hits on radio stations and is in the top 50 airplay and going up.

    That being said I wouldn’t mind a Korean song on the new album tbh. Maybe just R.E.A.L since that song is good, but makes no sense in english lol. I wouldn’t be shocked if “Like This” is a title track on the english album since it really is a good song.

  • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

    No, that’s a stupid marketing strategy. I get a feeling WG wants to stay in the US. Psy has one viral hit, and I’m so afraid he’s going to be the next William Hung, whom people love but don’t care and don’t take seriously. 

    One thing you failed to mention is to let WG be managed by an American management who knows the insider info on who’s who and what’s what in the US and be able to push WG into the market. Basically, JYP doesn’t have that power. He’s not in Korea. He’s in the US now, it’s another ball-game altogether.

    You should realize Psy has an American management basically pushing him to big shows like Ellen etc, NOT YG. YG, like JYP, just doesn’t have the power to push Psy to the front line.

    And overall, I’d scrap basically all suggestions up there. I don’t want all kpop artists trying their luck in the US now to become Psy 2.0 or 3.0 or mini-Psy. Let them be their own self, their own music and basically be known for themselves. If they stick, then they’d always have their own talent to back on, not from copying Psy.

    • Waetoria

      Yeah I can’t help but think that Psy has become the next William Hung. The way my friends, even Korean Americans, look at him, he’s just a funny dude with a funny video. I’ve looked at some of his appearances on other shows and it angers me that he is treated a bit like a novelty (see Ellen segment).

      • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

        The saddest part was some people didn’t even know he is Korean. They think he’s Chinese. Have you seen his interviews? Other very few like Ryan Seacrest one, most of them didn’t even care about Psy and it’s all about ‘You do that horse dance’.

        I know Psy can be a success, but the US like like easy money. It’s easy to get and easy to lose. 

        As for WG, we never know whether they will obtain any measure of success in the US or not. My whole point here is doing a 360 and turn into Psy is definitely NOT the way to succeed. If all kpop is doing the Psy formula to succeed in the US, then it’ll turn into ‘Korea is Manufacturing Funny Entertainers’, instead of being taken as artist seriously.

        While WG is manufactured as any other idols from Korea, at least what they have is their music. It’s really hard to hold on to satire and funny videos all the time. I’ve never really remember in my whole life of any artists who manage to succeed in producing funny videos after another. 

        We’ll see how far Psy and WG will go with their own paths of promotion and marketing in the US.

  • happy_slip

    Eh, completely two different things tbh. Sure, other acts and their companies would want to get that kind of popularity and impact in a short period of time, but come to think of it, would they really want to be viewed as a novelty act in the long run? I bet even PSY at some point would want to be taken a bit seriously if he does get to successfully continue promoting there after all the hype around GS has died down. Plus, it’s too early to tell. JYPE can only start taking a few notes only if PSY successfully makes most of the western audience still pay attention to what he can offer other than Gangnam Style.

    And I just want to say, for the most part sudden and meteoric successes like PSY’s are something that other companies can’t easily formulate. We don’t even have to go outside the Kpop sphere to know that; look how other companies tried to take a few notes from SNSD and GEE before only to get mediocre to really disappointing results — stuff like that can’t be replicated just because we can clearly see the factors that worked for them. When something big as PSY’s GS happens it just does, analysis and formula discussions be damned.

  • http://www.michelle-chin.com/ Michelle Chin

    I agree with this article. Entertainment companies like SM and JYP can take things a wee bit too seriously. So serious that it drives us away. 

    • Jaclyn

      I would say it’s more of every company honestly. It wasn’t YG that wasn’t serious, it was Psy. YG takes things too seriously too

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

        I think YG takes themselves even more seriously than any other kpop company actually, which is causing me to lose interest in both BigBang and 2ne1 sadly. They claim to be more about music, yet they are obsessed with their image and the notion of “reinventing themselves”. Tell me how that is about the music and not about creating a new concept with every album just like any other kpop group. They try to hype themselves up to be soo different from everyone else when they are really not all that different. It’s one of those things that if you say it and hear it long enough you think its true. For some reason they and their fans (and I’m saying this as a fan, although not a huge one) seem to actually believe that, but I honestly don’t see any difference between yg and sm/jyp, or a difference between BigBang/2ne1 compared with other kpop idols. Even now they seem to not really understand why Psy is so popular. I can tell by what GD and YG have been saying since GD’s new album came out. 

        • Ditu3ka

          I mostly agree. It´s pretty good point (but for your own safety don´t write it on allkpop :-)) YG´s way of promoting their artists and idols is to claim over and over how unique they are, how different and original in everything, it´s all about music but it´s so much more about their image  … But I think YG probably pay better cause no one complains about their paychecks or schedules for that matter.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

            Lol don’t worry, I rarely ever go on allkpop because of the immaturity of the comments, the only time I ever go there is if I am directed to the site from another site, when I want to look at the original source for an article. But yeah, we can’t deny that he at least pays the idols well. 

            But yeah I’m honestly sick of people making YG artists out to be bigger than other idols. Especially since I think there a many idols who love music, write their own songs, and probably want to be recognized as talented just like YG artists do, and of course you will always have those who don’t care and are probably in it just to be considered an idol. But the point is that its not fair to act like your above others when your all in the same situation. For example, I really like Infinite’s Sunggyu and I know that he wants to do rock music and/or sing slow r&b songs on the piano but he can’t because he has do what his company tells him, this does not mean that he is not talented it just means he’s an idol, and he has no problem saying that he doesn’t have full control over his career, which is the TRUTH.  Another example, is SNSD, although Im not a fan of this group I remember watching two of the members perform a dance routine with Taemin and I thought wow you would never know how good they were at dancing just from watching MV’s like “Gee”, ya know. Now if you don’t know anything about Sunggyu/Infinite or SNSD, you would just think they were just generic idols but there is always more under the surface. I think a lot of idols really do love music but are held back in a lot of ways because of career path they have chosen, which is partially their fault (not trying to make them out as victims, I’m just explaining lol).  So to claim that your artist are more real than others is a bit insulting. YG doesn’t know other artists but his own. I think YG knows the type of reputation that the kpop industry has so he tries to separate his idols from that bad reputation which is a smart idea but like I said its a false idea. BIGBANG and 2ne1 are just as generic as any other group. People need to wake up. 

  • http://www.macchelsea.com/ MacChelsea

    I wonder if PSY can last long after this hit, as it seems the Americans are treating him just like another William Hung. Of course it never hurts to hit #11 on the Billboard chart, but deep down I think PSY is hurt too being seen as purely a comedian when his Gangnam Style’s lyrics are so full of sarcastic social meanings. As some others have commented here, the WGs want to stay in the US, maybe not hitting #11, but they’re here for long. I wonder if the WGs and JYP would choose to be a one-hit wonder over what they’ve been doing so far, even given the chance to start over.

    • mangochic

      I wish someone would explain to me who this William Hung is and I have honestly never seen references to him apart from this website.

  • http://twitter.com/rentrule12 ana

    As I was reading this you fail to mention Scooter Baum. Psy is managed by him in America that is why you do not see YG appear anywhere. Scooter was the one who push the song onto radio. That is why digital sales are increasing daily and his spins are increasing in a enormous rate. It is also a reason why he charted so high on the billboard (which is a mix of digital, airplay, and streaming). I believe he actually broke top 20 in the charts on mediabase couple days ago. Scooter also had him appearing on TV shows. Viral hits don’t always last long just ask Rebecca black who charted in the billboard but drop off just as quickly without the push of a record label.
    What the wondergirls need is a manager and record label that actually knows American music market. Maybe have a separation like how PSY has a record label in the states and one in Korea.

  • Waetoria

    Great discussion and I agree with a lot of y’all. Psy is a totally different beast than a Wonder Girls, Big Bang, etc. Although K-pop can aspire to the kind of hype and American media exposure surrounding Psy, it should not strive to be perceived in the same light.

    As many of you said, he’s a big hit now but will fade as quickly as he rose. His type of success – based on satire (if you understand Korean) or just plain ridiculousness – is not sustainable. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll put out a few funny English songs and it’ll make a mild splash in the U.S. Big Korean media companies, on the other hand, do not want to be seen as a perennial joke, but a real contender for the tastes and pocketbooks of mainstream Americans. The fact that the Korean media conflates Psy’s success with the rise of K-pop and Korea does a disservice not only to K-pop groups trying to market themselves in the U.S. but I think to Korea as a whole.

    Echoing Nate Broadus, if any other culture is going to take American mainstream by storm, it’s the Hispanics and Latino culture. And we are still a long ways from that so K-poppers are dreaming up some serious delusions of grandeur. 

  • Waetoria

    My two cents says JYP nation will never achieve this level of success in the U.S. for simple reasons.
    1. Although JYP is the master of the Korean pop culture market, that is a far cry from understanding any other market. Bottom line is, he’s Korean and so is the way he thinks and perceives the world around him. The U.S. is very different and I think we can all see from what the WG did in the U.S. how much he doesn’t “get” American tastes.
    2. Yes maybe he’ll get some U.S.-based advisors and such but in reality, he’ll be running the show. He’s too much of a micro-manager and too egocentric to acquiesce any real control.

    • theonetwo

      i agree with what you said but especially your second point.  it seems jyp has to be in everything and its annoying. 

      as for comparing psy’s success to another one.  imo, it would have to be the macarana.  the song was in a different language with english thrown in here and there and it had a simple dance too

      • Waetoria

        Lol I can’t disagree with your Macarena but I had been hoping to avoid referencing it since I find that song so annoying.

    • http://twitter.com/rentrule12 ana

       I agree i don’t understand why he has to be in everything.

  • lokifairy

    Psy will not change anything for Kpop. Psy had luck and he knows it let’s see how long he can handle the whole situation. But I think he will end as an one hit wonder. He can’t produce songs like Gangnam Style forever. He also can’t do some sexy stuff or things like that BECAUSE people don’t take him seriously.

  • swon5998

     As a Wonderful, I’m glad that the Wonder Girls are not a hit right now like PSY is because to be honest Gangnam Style is just going to be a one-time hit. PSY is not taken seriously as an artist, but rather as an Asian singer with a hilarious video and a ridiculously addictive song and dance. Harsh, but it is the reality. His popularity is not something that is sustainable in the long-run. I’m sure even YG and PSY himself know this hence they are promoting like hell right now until the hype dies down. After it dies down, who knows if his future songs will ever get the same recognition? I love PSY and I admire what he’s doing and the guy is lucky as hell, but I don’t want the same kind of recognition for the Wonder Girls.

    I don’t want them to be a one-time hit. I want them to be a recognised artist that will grow and develop over time. I don’t mind the fact that they are still not well-known in the US because at the same time these girls are maturing way beyond their fellow k-pop artists in terms of personality and musicality BECAUSE of what they are going through. This is evident in their recent album and mini-album. As a Wonderful, I feel sad when I see them try so hard only to fall back down again, but these girls are an inspiration. They are working (literally) from the bottom to reach the top. They are doing just like what other American artists who are famous now did before they were well-known. Look at Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and even Justin Bieber who used to busk on the streets before he was picked by Usher. Patience and perseverance will get these girls through. Their bonds are like no other group BECAUSE of what they have been through together. They are doing slowly compared to PSY, but who cares? Each artist to their own and as much as I used to hate JYPE for doing this to them, I don’t mind it anymore. They know what they’re doing. They have learned and are still learning from their mistakes. Compared to SM and YG who gave up after 2-3 years with BOA and SE7EN, JYP still perseveres and I think that shows how determined and dedicated they are to their U.S venture unlike the other two companies. You should be complimenting them on that instead. No other Korean companies are as determined as they are. Hardwork will pay in the end.

    Regarding the Wonder Girls and how they should be embracing their Korean-ness, they always do. If you watch their US interviews, you will realise how proud they are for being Korean and they always mention something about Korea or its products in their interviews. In terms of their song, I find this a very funny point. People always seem to be complaining about the girls if they release anything too ‘Americanized’ but people also complain if they release anything too ‘KPOP.’ How exactly are they supposed to find anything to make people happy? ‘Like Money’ is a great song that appeals to the American public but also showcase them as a k-pop group with the similar structure used to in the song.

    I would love to write a lot more to answer some of the points you brought up but this post is getting ridiculously long so I will refrain from answering for now. Good article, but I wouldn’t really compare the two to be honest.

    • Waetoria

      I agree that WG are taking a very different approach – one that focuses on long-term viability – than Psy’s instantaneous, accidental hit. And JYP is trying something a little different from previous K-pop acts in the U.S. – mainly that they dedicate time and resources in the U.S. and they can (now) speak English! Woo hoo! 

      The problem I have with WG in particular, or rather JYP’s management of them, is that they seem to lack focus which equates into lack of true success anywhere. They are still relatively unknown in the U.S. but they were making some headway when JYP shipped them back to Korea for brief and mediocre stints. They keep going back and forth and it’s not good for the group’s focus or direction. They don’t fully promote in Korea, they are making forays into other markets, they are still doing their American project…it’s just all so diluted at this point.

  • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

    I agree on most discussions down there who sum up to this:

    WG and Psy are different and they should not do similar marketing. All the suggestions up there are pure bullshit since I know WG is boring so they can never fake it to be fun and hip after more than 4 years in the industry of people faking it to be fun and hip. Too little too late. They need to be themselves, not turning themselves over to suddenly have a personality make-over. 

    Should I add that I also 100% agree that the only thing WG and JYP should take note is finding a good American management to push WG in the US. Honestly, I can see WG going nowhere with JYP managing them in the US. 

  • http://twitter.com/ashenlo7 mim’s

    i looove gangnam style but this song is popular because it is funny and catchy for us (i’m european) every time it is played ppl make fun of psy or the song that’s why they like it.
    as for wonder girls, i’ve loved them for what they are or what they sing, not because they’re “funny asians girls getting ridiculous in their mv…” so i don’t think jyp has to learn anything from psy

    • http://twitter.com/dds87 dechen

      Yes JYP does have something to learn from PSY>>>>>>find an American management  and an aggressive promoter for their promotions here in the States…because the Wondergirls are going nowhere with JYP. He may be a part of the Big 3 and have all kinds of connections in Korea but he is “nobody” here in the States!

  • http://sliceofpie.yolasite.com/ Shayna (シエイナ) (셰인아)

    Personally I think comparing Wonder Girls to PSY is ridiculous. Gangnam Style is a joke to Americans, nothing more. I don’t care who he’s signed with, I just cannot see PSY becoming some hit sensation anytime soon, because people will still see him as the funny guy in that one viral video.

    Now, Wonder Girls, on the other hand, I think are actually seen as real artists; the problem is that girl groups simply aren’t popular in the States. I’m a Wonderful, and I’m not ashamed to admit that they’ll never become the biggest stars here; but I think the point is that they do have fans here, and want to have more, and it doesn’t matter if they’re on Ellen or signing with Justin Bieber’s label, or whatever; what matters is that they’re doing their own thing, and they have their own unique fanbase that they’ll stick with no matter what.

    Now I do think that “Like Money” was a little overdone, and that they should’ve gone for something a little more light-hearted like “Like This”, but that doesn’t mean they can never be serious… (especially since they sing the best ballads).

    • http://twitter.com/dds87 dechen

      wondergirls are seen as real artists in the States?????LMFAO

    • http://ofstrangersensibilities.blogspot.com Joy Of Stranger Sensibilities

      If anything PSY is way more “real” than the Wonder Girls. PSY is not just another Korean idol. He has (pretty much) full artistic control over everything that has his name stamped on it. Wonder Girls on the other hand, have varying levels of creative freedom, but ultimately they are just another manufactured idol group. Sure for a lot of people, PSY is just another funny Asian man (i.e. Ken Jeong) but people are becoming increasingly aware of the depth of his lyrics and the kind of social satire he is trying to convey in the song. If Gangnam Style is such a joke, then why would The Atlantic (high brow magazine that even Henry James used to write for back in the day) write about it: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/gangnam-style-dissected-the-subversive-message-within-south-koreas-music-video-sensation/261462/

      • http://sliceofpie.yolasite.com/ Shayna (シエイナ) (셰인아)

        I actually agree with you — he is a real artist. But I feel like most Americans are so caught up in the hilarity of Gangnam Style that they don’t care about anything else, and I just can’t see us getting past that any time soon.

        However, that article on The Atlantic is pretty cool. :D

  • mangochic

    I honestly think WG would like to be in the same position Psy is right now. I know it has been said that they are using a formula for long-term success but I think time is running out for them. Being a k-pop idol group is a temporary thing, a stepping stone for a solo singing career, acting and modelling gigs so I see them breaking up in a couple of years so that they can pursue other stuff or even get married!

    In regards to Psy, isn’t it too soon or premature to call him a 1-hit wonder when he hasn’t RELEASED ANOTHER SONG YET? Anyway, whether it’s a 1-hit wonder or not he has name recognition now. It will be easier to convince deejays,radio hosts, etc to play his follow-up music unlike WG who aren’t known to a lot of people. Also Psy is taking advantage of each and every opportunity he is getting, he is making connections with famous people, filming endorsements deals, will be able to work with top producers on his next album and also acting opportunities. Who knows what will be next as he is breaking records and he may end up being nominated for a Grammy or some other award.

    What can JYP learn from Psy? Produce a song that is interesting, entertaining and different from what is on the radio (people are tired of crap and mediocrity). The next thing is it takes luck. There many native musicians who work as hard as WG did to break into the music scene but it doesn’t work out as you need luck, the right person to hear it somewhere, etc.

    When this all has died down, I think Psy would have gained new fans like my husband who at first hated the song, but now loves  it and is humming it everywhere. He even searched for the lyrics and its meaning. I wouldn’t be surprised if he buys his cd when it comes out.

  • momolito

    I belive that people a diminishing psy acomplishment. here was always the Kpop war of who would brake into the american market. Theories from the wonder girls, 2ne1, Big bang or snsd, many article over this topic were written ont his blog. But im enjoying so much that psy became the dark horse the no one saw coming. With his gagnam style hes making people dance and laugh. Fans in america call him a one hit wonder, but for me his acomplisment its he became a world wide one hit wonder. He might be the new macarena, but i cannot recall other songs that are WORLD WIDE one hits (maybe the lambada in the 80″s). Im pretty sure the fandoms are mad because even though their group might have some succes psy will  be be the first Korean to go #1 in in tunes chart of 33 countries, he did it on korean and he did it without even trying. Focusing on him being a one hit wonder,its minimizing what he has acomplished.  Im proud of him, because its a world wide accomplish that will never be repeated  in Kpop history.

    • http://twitter.com/rentrule12 ana

       i agree with what you said people are diminishing his success but the macarena was a worldwide hit also

      • goldengluvsk2

        yes, the other day I was talking about the Macarena case too… people say one hit wonder but they are worldwide one hit wonders… i mean, the creators of the song still make money from the song due to royalties…!

  • marychencontrary

    Basically JYPE has engaged in scandals in the USA and companies know about them even though Koreans try to cover them up.  Google:  Wonder Girls Ill-Treated or JYP Admits Wonder Girls Lack Insurance.  If JYPE succeeds in America, the next day the scandals appear in the NY Times.

  • goldengluvsk2

    hmph… I dont really see why Wonder Girls and Psy are even compared… we all know their music, way of working, concept,etc. are extremely different. let be honest, even when some people say Psy’s just a joke -even when topping the charts in 30+ countries doesnt sound like a joke to me-, we all know more than a dozen of groups and artists and even fanbases in SK that would kill to experience that… and the best part of it is that it was without trying…! if you ask me, Psy already proved all of us wrong because we all expected an idol or idol group to hit it big worldwide and it wasnt like that… I dont know but as long as it lasts i’ll cheer on Psy, he already made history and no one can take that away from him…
    if i’d give advice to JYP it would totally be the “Step aside and let the artists do their thing” one…! imo the girls are not doing that bad but i think that if he manages to let the girls get involved in the fashion, the music style, the lyrics, etc.! it would be great to see them present a title song with a concept where all the girls contributed with…!

  • http://twitter.com/Plutonium22 Plutonium

    Psy is a fad though. Like macarena. After macarena, what was the nexy song released by that artist?

  • Dafnalina

    It’s easy to sit behind your computer and write “JYP should make a viral
    video for the Wonder Girls too!” Lol, like it’s something easy that
    everyone can achieve. How can you compare the marketing strategies used
    to promote a group of 5 asian girls in the US with the fact that PSY, a
    soloist, got popular because of a viral video, and not due to any genius
    stunt pulled by his company? (Not dimishing his accomplishments here, I respect the guy as an artist, but his success is not related to the way his company manages him). You say “don’t be afraid to embrace your
    korean-ness” yet in previous articles (in this site) SB’s writers debated that the reason idol groups/solists wouldn’t make it in America was largely due to cultural

    PS, sorry if my grammar/spelling suck in this. English is not my first language.

  • ATPO

    Personally, I agree with all of your points.

    Also there’s the fact that K-pop has mostly girl/boy groups, which the West has been getting sick of.

    I mean, sure One Direction is popular, but they get a lot of hate just for being a boy group. Furthermore, they dole out cheesy lines to cheap, pop magazines to keep girls dreaming about them. I mean, have you heard “That’s What Makes You Beautiful”?
    The chorus is pretty much a serenade to naive girls with low self-esteem, which is what a lot of K-pop boy groups do with their songs too.

    Spice Girls? NSYNC? Backstreet Boys? They’ve all come and gone. Sure maybe the occasional replay rouses some cheers, but that’s all due to nostalgia.

  • http://twitter.com/Jlam13 Joseph Lamothe

    I agree with most of what youre saying, but I also feel that American audiences won’t take kpop seriously because of ‘Gangnam Style.’ I’ve spoken to a lot of people who know the song is a joke, and if a joke is their first impression, how are they going to take any kpop artist because they are going to first think of Psy

  • Darrell Kramer

    A lot of the Korean celebrities are too contrived, not to mention too superficial. A little plastic surgery and a few good dance moves is all it takes to become a big star in Korea. The Wonder Girls are a good example. They may as well be robots performing for kids at a local Chucky Cheese’s. Like many K-pop stars, they lack personality and are products of entertainment conglomerates that produce everything from vitamins to industrial equipment. A majority of them – male and female – are seemingly soulless, surgically-enhanced images with little acting or musical ability. The difference between a lot of Western celebrities and a lot Korean celebrities is like the difference between shopping for clothing at the Men’s Warehouse with all its made-in-Korea clothing that attempts to be more stylish than it actually is by labeling them ‘Arnaldo Bassini’ (Italy) and ‘Valentino Rudi’ and shopping at stores selling real Italian labels.

    If you are a westerner who has spent a considerable amount of time in Korea, I’m sure you will understand where I’m coming from, and it’s probably why Psy has gained much popularity in the USA. He strips away the pretentiousness and presents Korea in all its cheesyness for the world to see.

  • 2PMHottest

    I feel out for my boys in 2PM, I didn’t know JYP was such an attention whore. HOTTEST FIGHTING~!