Psy has succeeded in doing what perhaps no one else in the world could have done in South Korea — upstage Kim Jong-un at precisely the peak of the media firestorm generated by N. Korea’s high-intensity saber-rattling.
On Friday — the day the soundtrack of “Gentleman” was released around the world — the song title was the most searched term in S. Korea’s top portals.
That’s saying something in a nation under threat of nuclear attack by an erratic regime, especially on the same day Pyongyang’s claims to have nuclear missiles were bolstered by a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) threat assessment “with moderate confidence [that] the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles; however the reliability will be low.”
Psy is said to have co-composed the electronic dance tune and written the lyrics which portray a “gentleman” who frequents dance clubs. While the sound track was released Friday in 119 countries (though a number of sources jumped the embargo and released it on YouTube on Thursday in many time zones, including the US), the music video is being held back until Psy’s “Happening” concert at Seoul’s monster World Cup Stadium Saturday evening Korean time. The concert will stream live on YouTube.
Apparently Psy sweated bullets to pull off the artistically daunting task of trying to follow up a song whose original video garnered 1.5 billion YouTube views in about nine months. Going without sleep for two days, the increasingly less-pudgy rapper was making so many last minute changes that his Korean management firm YG Entertainment feared it would slip the schedule. That may explain why no teaser was released several days earlier — the usual practice in the Kpop world.
Now the ball is in Kim Jong-un’s court to try to upstage Psy, possibly by timing his threatened Musudan medium-range missile launches to coincide with the opening of Psy’s concert.