Over the past few weeks, PSY’s wacky video for “Gangnam Style” has become a YouTube sensation, generating more than 112,000,000 views since July 15. It’s also been Tweeted more than 780,000 times and received over 260,000 likes on Facebook, reports Mashable.com.
With the rapper making an appearance at Thursday’s MTV Video Music Awards, here’s what you need to know about the break-out artist.
1. His real name is Park Jae-Sang
The 35-year-old K-pop (or Korean pop) rapper is known for his comedic music videos and performances. The video for “Gangnam Style” is no exception. When his debut album PSY … From the Psycho World! was released in 2001, he was nicknamed “Bizarre Singer” because of his unusual dress, candid lyrics and comical dance movies.
2. Gangnam is a wealthy neighborhood in Seoul
Gangnam may only be 15 square miles, but the district in Seoul, South Korea, is home to the headquarters of some of the country’s most influential companies, including Samsung, Hyundai and LG. The region also makes up seven percent of South Korea’s GDP. Forty-one percent of students at Seoul University, a very prestigious college, come from Gangnam. The lyrics of PSY’s song describe the personality traits of a girl and a guy.
3. He studied in the U.S.
Born in South Korea on December 31, 1977, PSY attended Banpo Elementary School, Banpo Middle School and Eva High School. But when it came time to pursue a college degree, the rapper attended both Boston University and Berklee College of Music.
4. "Gangnam Style" is giving K-pop international exposure
“Gangnam Style” is currently No. 1 on the iTunes music video chart. The video has surpassed Taylor Swift‘s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”; Justin Bieber‘s “As Long As You Love Me (feat. Big Sean)”; and Katy Perry‘s “Wide Awake.” This is the first time a Korean artist has ranked this high on iTunes.
5. He might be the next Justin Bieber
In mid-August, PSY was spotted at the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium watching the hometeam take on the San Francisco Giants. The rapper was in town to meet with Scooter Braun, who manages Justin Bieber, signed Carly Rae Jepsen and manages The Wanted in North America. In early September, it was announced via YouTube that Psy signed to Braun’s Schoolboy Records, part of Universal Republic.