In the glossy world of K-pop, PSY has stuck out with his eccentric personality and emphasis on silliness in place of chicness -- and that's all paying off handsomely with the current success of "Gangnam Style." But over the course of a decade-plus career, PSY's nonconformist attitude (and Berklee College of Music-honed musical chops) have produced plenty of other sonic treats.
If you can't get enough of "Gangnam Style," check out these five PSY tracks that are just as worthy of a listen:
1. Bird (2001)
PSY's debut single, released way back in 2001, established him as a true force of entertainment. After a minimalistic beginning, "Bird" evolves to incorporate trumpets and heavy guitar riffs, and eventually segues into a catchy chorus aided by female back-up singers. "Bird" nicely set up a successful career with the opening declaration, "PSY-cho world, this is PSY!"
2. Champion (2002)
PSY's 2002 single "Champion" is a funky dance track that uses video game-like synthesizers years before the EDM explosion. With self-empowering lyrics and the repeated title word in the chorus, the song doubled as an anthem for South Korea when they hosted the World Cup in Seoul that year. And although it sounds like PSY spits the "N-word" on the song, he actually utters the phrase pronounced "ni ga," meaning "you" in Korean.
3. Right Now (2010)
Call it a comeback! After PSY was found to have improperly carried out his mandatory two-year Korean military service, he was forced him to reenlist, creating a long hiatus from the industry. His return to music needed to be big, and PSY's first single with YG Entertainment, "Right Now," allowed him to return on the right foot. The punching synths and "Right now!" chant marked a grand homecoming for the rapper, who reminded everyone of his outlandish personality by rocking out in a traffic jam, office, and supermarket in the song's music video.
4. It's Art (2011)
"It's Art" includes a similar beginning to David Guetta and Kelly Rowland's 2009 dance track "When Love Takes Over," with its melodious piano loop. Once the listener reaches the chorus, a euphoric combination of violins opens the gates for PSY's to reach soaring heights. In the "It's Art" music video, fans get a sense of PSY's crazy live show -- which comes complete with cross-dressing.
5. Korea (2012)
While PSY's work may have always had Western-leaning sounds, the fight song he crafted for the 2012 Olympics was a song all 50 million South Koreans could support. "Korea" does away with trendy synths and incorporates traditional Korean instruments to give it an authentic feel.
Honorable Mention: Night Street In Seoul
Psy featuring YDG (2010)
Though not an official single, "Night Street In Seoul" is definitely the PSY song that hip-hop fans can best relate to. With a beat that sounds like a fusion of Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" and Lil Wayne's "A Milli," the 2010 album cut sees PSY trading lines with actor/rapper YDG, on a song that undoubtedly set a standard for rapping label mates like BIGBANG's G-Dragon and CL of 2NE1.