This NPR article tells you a lot about South Korean pop music, but it tells you little about Psy and Gangnam style. Most people aren’t informed enough about Korean pop music to know Psy is NOT a Korean pop star. He is not part of this mainstream industry they talk about. He is at a mainstream label, but he makes all his own music (unlike other artists) and he is not one of the carefully selected, pruned, and primed groups that South Korean media is trying to sell across the pacific. Previous to this he was not wildly popular, and he always seemed to be the but of the joke as the antithesis to the young, very slim, demure/eager stars around him.
Here is a video from the Wonder Girls, in English,
And here is a Gangnam Style. The differences are clear.
The former video is really only applicable to the Wonder Girls video and there other Kpop group counterparts. However, the last point in the article is interesting, because in the end we have to ask how did this all leave the inner circle of Kpop fans and get outside that market. Korean pop media has done a great job utilizing media and working with YouTube to get there videos out to people outside their already established fan base.
The central issue is, will Kpop actually take over, because Psy isn’t Kpop at all. We don’t see any other songs or groups coming under the radar, formed by these so called ingenuous practices.