Video: The ‘Gangnam Style’/MC Hammer Mash-Up That Won’t Make Sense In A Year

watch Psy Gangnam Style MC Hammer mash-up video 2012 AMAs American Music Awards

It’s a little sad that the performance people were most excited to see at the American Music Awards – more than Taylor Swift, more than Chris Brown – was Psy. Not because this guy hasn’t worked his ass off for his superstar status, but because if you step back and think about it, “Gangnam Style” is this bizarre, inexplicable phenomenon. Sure, it’s captured America’s attention for the duration of the fall, but in a year will anyone really remember it?

We at the Crushable office are split. Some of us compare “Gangnam Style” to other regrettable, forgettable dance fads like the Macarena and Soulja Boy. Personally, I’d like to think that we’ll still be singing “Oppan Gangnam Style” in late 2013 — though we won’t have learned any more of the lyrics — because it’s an infectious beat that could stay in the zeitgeist for a few years.

But the fact that the AMA producers did a live mash-up of Psy and MC Hammer makes us wonder about “Gangnam Style”‘s longevity. He was doing so well—inspiring everyone from geeks to Saturday Night Live to Damian Lewis to take a stab at the horse-dance. But now he’s gone toe-to-toe with the man who is the physical embodiment of the regrettable dance fad. They even wore the same parachute pants! (If anything, and I know this makes me an awful person, but I felt like the inclusion of “Too Legit to Quit” took away from the simple beauty of “Gangnam Style.”)

You can watch the whole performance below, and tell us: Has Psy reached another plane of the pop culture consciousness, or was this duet the kiss of death for his short-lived American music career?

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    • eriksuperman

      So the show itself wasn’t all that remarkable, and I have a
      hard time considering Bieber or Minaj as “Artists” (where has all the real
      talent gone?) but PSY and MC were incredible!
      I remember MC Hammer from childhood, and I dressed as PSY for Halloween
      this year, so it was the perfect combination of similar “old’s” and
      “new’s”. I worked late at DISH
      last night, but when I got home my wife told me to watch the recording. I have the Hopper from DISH, and with
      PrimeTime Anytime I can set it to automatically record every primetime show on
      all four of the big networks! I didn’t
      even know I had it recorded, but it was a lot of fun dancing along when I
      watched it.

    • stlmania

      the success of entertaining is measured by the response of audience. Watch the response to these two entertainers. Awesome!

    • ED

      Nat you gotta understand music if you’re going to comment about the collaboration. I mean we get it. You are derisive of Hammer and you have doubts whether Psy will be relevant in a year.

      Musically though, this mashup made eminent sense. In fact when I saw it I was surprised how MUCH sense something disgorged from mind of uber douche Scooter Braun could make. Honestly Gangnam Style isn’t too deep, regardless of how much Left-leaning paternalists in the US desperately want it to a corrosive criticism of the East (specifically in this case Koreans, specifically in this case rich Koreans). Like the rest of Kpop it’s about the transmission of this weird energetic, bubbly, aggressive musical energy from a part of the world that seems to be living life in hyperdrive while we in the West stagnate in morose stagnation, political correctness, cynicism and other aspects of lethargic decline.

      Gangnam Style in the US and Psy in Korea/Asia is popular entirely on the back of the sort of energetic, frantic performance on the part of Korean artists. Hammer, to be frank, was stupid but he was a great entertainer. He was the first huge mainstream artist that crossed over from “black music” to Middle America, precisely on the back of the same sort of cultural currency that Psy is now employing. Here was this crazy, hype-filled, energy in the music… slightly foreign, slightly strange… that was irresistible to white Americans… except 20 years ago it was from this unknown and suspicious thing called “Black America” instead of Asia.

      If you deconstruct Kpop the 2 artists of the past who are most similar to current Kpop artists are Hammer and Bobby Brown. Check out BB’s “My Perogative” it’s the highest articulation of the sort of innate driving musical energy that drives Kpop around the world and has made Korean pop the 4th largest genre of popular music on Planet Earth after American pop/hip hop, British pop and Latin pop. Most of the kids in SE Asia, Europe, Japan and China that listen to Kpop have no idea what the songs are about. It’s exciting precisely because it’s slightly foreign just like hip hop in the late 80s/90s was to white kids. It’s not about nuance, just like black music in the 90s it’s about hyperbole, promulgation of positive ethnic stereotypes, an articulation of a different type of life in a different type of society, anchored by the sheer spectacle and energy of the music by Kpop artists

      Bottom line this was a great collab. Better than anything I expected. Although personally I find Gangnam Style terribly overrated and Kpop silly. If you’re going to bitch about something, at least COMPREHEND it. I’m not a particular fan of Kpop but it’s musically interesting and worth taking a real look at aside from cultural/racial bias at what objectively drives this behemoth and what value there is in it. Don’t do the American thing where we bitch and criticize from a place of complete ignorance wrapped in knee jerk judgments from our limited vantage.

      As for whether Psy will be relevant in the US this time next year? No. Just no. But really I don’t know if that’s more of an alarm for Psy or for the US. The scary thing is that being relevant in the US is not longer the lynchpin that it’s been for 4 generations of musicians… Kpop doesn’t need the US. If everyone else in the world is plugged into something and the US is left out how is that good for us? Sure we got our Subway sandwiches and Walmart but as an American it’s lame that even in music (just like everything else) we’re the ones becoming irrelevant and being left behind.