Korean pop artist Psy is hoping to make lightning strike twice. He still holds a record for his first worldwide hit, Gangnam Style. The video for the 2012 song has a phenomenal 2 billion views on YouTube, hitting that pinnacle at the beginning of June. His latest single and video, Hangover, was released on Monday. This time around, legendary rapper Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion, if you must) joins in on the ruckus that fills Psy’s world. In the video, the two drink excessively, end up in wild situations and repeat the process over and over again. Although the song is quite catchy, it does hold a bit of a dark aspect, due to a serious issue Psy revealed about himself in an interview last year.
The singer spoke to Britain’s The Sunday Times last July. He shared with a reporter that almost every night, he found himself in front of a bottle of alcohol. It was a surprisingly candid and heartbreaking admission that changed the view of the man who had, in part, used a “horsey dance” to catapult himself to fame. “If I’m happy, I’m drinking,” he said. “If I’m sad, I’m drinking.” He considered alcohol his “vice partner” and mentioned that there was no preferred taste to what he drank. “[I’ll drink] whiskey, vodka, tequila, whatever.” Interestingly enough, the only time he admitted to not imbibing was when he was hung over, which is “a lot,” according to his own words.
There were other dire moments shared in the interview. The 36-year-old also confessed that his father used to physically abuse him well into adulthood. In his late 20’s, Psy wrote a song that he hoped would close the “huge barrier between” father and son. It seemed to work. He got a promise from his dad that he would change his ways. “I thought, ‘wow, the power of music,” he said. Music does have a lot of power. For the listener, it can be healing and release some deep-rooted emotions. It also works for the artists behind the music. Many musicians consider singing as a form of therapy. Sometimes, things end up being quite revealing.
Amy Winehouse was a great example at expressing her personal struggles through music. Her breakthrough album, 2006’s Back to Black, was filled with tales of her well-publicized troubles with drugs and alcohol. It was almost as if she was singing the story of her life. Winehouse attempted to beat her addictions, but inevitably, it led to her all-too-soon death in 2011. She was only 27 years old. Psy may not be in the same level that Winehouse was when it comes to addiction. However, knowing that he has such a problem in his life, it changes the perspective of what was supposed to be a fun song.
Perhaps Hangover is nothing but a track about partying without shame. What he sings about is an actual mirror image of what he goes through on a daily basis. What happens when an artist openly admits their issues? On one hand, his fun songs are what he is known for. On the other, listeners realize that Psy is singing about something that happens to him very often. Are listeners and YouTube viewers helping or harming the situation?
It will be interesting to see if the issue he has in his everyday life will be ignored or silenced for the sake of another viral moment. Right now, he is still on top of the world and Hangover is sure to keep him riding high. As fun as it is, however, fun music and “horsey dances” are not necessarily what keeps him going. Psy may be ready to party after his Hangover clears, but he has already given the world a much too sobering look into a very sad life.
Opinion by Jonathan Brown Sources: Buzzfeed E! Online