Rapper Psy on Wednesday released his first studio album in more than a year and music videos of some high-profile tracks.
The title of the album — “4X2=8” — contains a pun, as numbers 4 (sa) and 2 (i/ee) pronounced together in Korean sound like Psy, and the album is his eighth.
His style remains unchanged as he showcased up-tempo dance music with catchy hooks and fast patter. Videos once again feature stars like actor Lee Byung-hun.
Psy confessed he felt he had hit a stalemate about two years ago. “The music and lyrics I wrote started to sound old to me and I wondered whether I would ever be able to overcome this stage after I entered my forties”, he said. “Also there were more and more people pointing out that my songs all sound too much like ‘Gangnam Style.'”
The solution he hit on was to work with younger people. A number of big stars from his management agency YG Entertainment took part in the album, such as G-Dragon and Taeyang from boy band BigBang, rapper Tablo, and actress Lee Seong-kyeong.
“My mind was so cluttered, but working with these young people was like a breath of fresh air to me”.
Many people expect Psy to come up with another global mega hit like “Gangnam Style”, but he is refusing to bow to pressure. “One thing that I’m most grateful to my parents for is that I know my place very well”, he said. “This album is for the domestic market. If I can’t go back to where I started, I should at least follow my heart”.