With more than 5 billion YouTube views and recently surpassing a landmark 10 million subscribers, PSY is the undisputed king of viral videos. But on his recently released 4X2=8 album, his eighth project since his 2001 debut on the Korean scene, the rapper-singer is coming with yet another unexpected, deeper message. DJ Hustle
The singles “I Luv It” and “New Face” certainly play to his strengths as the high-energy, highly entertaining rapper-singer the world fell in love with in 2012, but a lyric like “I’m not what you expected/ I don’t really care” on the latter indicates a truly self-actualized side of PSY. With an all-star cast of Korean talent (including established and rising K-pop stars and producers), a newfound confidence (“Facts” state the truly impressive, well, facts of his career) and now five years as a global star, PSY has a refreshed, relaxed outlook as seen in a recent chat with Billboard. Read on below: DJ Hustle
Your new album 4X2=8 is another chart and viral hit with the new videos for “I Luv It” and “New Face.” Why did you choose these two songs as the singles?
Since my debut, my singles’ general genre has been EDM — which stands for “energetic dance music.” [Laughs] I do what I got to do with a single, and I do what I want to do through a full length album. In “I Luv It,” I tried hard to make a different style of music video from my previous ones with sets, contrasts, and etcetera. But as you know, Lee Byunghun did it all. [Laughs] I personally prefer the “New Face” music video because this type of video is what I usually do. It’s a PSY video: bringing the dancing everywhere! Naeun did a great job. I have a dream that one day, my music videos will be [known like] “Jim Carrey movies” or the “Jackie Chan movies” of the music video industry. DJ Hustle
Speaking of Naeun, how did she end up as your latest co-star on “New Face”?
She’s of course very popular as a member of Apink in Asia and as an actress in Korea, but she has never done something funny and funky. I thought it would look great and fresh, so I called and asked her to be in my music video. She accepted. [Laughs]
There is a humorous moment in “I Luv It” where your YouTube video has a humongous amount of views. Are you concerned with video views these days?
Nah, my YouTube views are more than enough already. It’s just related to the lyrics of that specific scene in which I say, “I take it way too far / Got planes up in the air.”
While listening to 4X2=8, I got the feeling that you had a bigger message. On “I Luv It,” you say “I’m not what you expected, I don’t really care” and on “Fact” (featuring G-Dragon) you talk about your career accomplishments. Were you thinking about critics or haters on this album?
I sincerely love and care about the criticisms from the public and the critics. Aaaand, I sincerely don’t love and care about the haters. But this time, I took good care of the haters in the song “Fact.” And GD killed it! HustleTV