Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Hyuna (feat. Psy)–“Ice Cream”

Hyuna will melt you down like ice cream.

Did you like the song?
So a lot has happened since Hyuna’s “Bubble Pop” went viral and Psy and Hyuna collaborated on the music video for “Gangnam Style”—Psy made YouTube history with over a billion views, Psy announced that some American record labels are considering signing Hyuna...oh, and Hyuna followed up “Bubble Pop” with a music video that was doubtless intended to be as dirty and envelope-pushing as that one. And Psy has a long cameo!

Hyuna Ice Cream Psy cameo
Oppan Ice Cream Style!

The song itself is kind of what we expect from Hyuna: talk-rap, fun singing parts, on the catchy side without being an exceptional song.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I like the beginning of the chorus (“Nan dalkomhan ice cream neon noganaerilgeol”/”I’m like sweet ice cream; I’ll melt you”).

Hyuna Ice Cream pretty

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
If I hear the word “cream” repeated one more time, I swear... ;) No, the lyrics aren’t too bad—“my diamond ring, so bling bling” is my particular favorite...even if she isn’t actually wearing one and has just drawn it on her hand.

Hyuna Ice Cream diamond ring so bling bling hand
My hand draw-ing, so bling bling?

Hyuna Ice Cream huge diamond ring
Oh, wait, there it is! That is some serious bling indeed!

Still not sure what “I got 31 flava, ttaeron [sometimes] shooting star, pop pop” means, though.

What is a little more confusing are the English signs the protesters are carrying later in the video. It’s probably a fun game to pick out what they’re saying and then attempt to understand it. “DO NOT HURRY YOU HAVE 4 MINUTE” is a favorite of mine with the reference to 4minute, the group Hyuna is in. But some other signs are a bit more confusing: “SALE: MY LITTLE BROTHER WITH BIG SHOUT,” for example. Is a little brother for sale? Interesting! Or perhaps we should be concerned because “BATMAN HE IS GONE” and “ELIENS ARE COMING!!! LET’S PREPARE PARTY TONITE.” Not just any kind of alien. Eliens. Maybe that’s related to “SHALL WE DRIVE? ON YOUR UFO.”

Hyuna Ice Cream protesters signs English

Did you like the video?
Not gonna lie, it’s colorful and fun and, yeah, really sexy. I did have a moment of, “Oh, this again, Hyuna? Can’t we have a different theme this time?” while watching it, though. I wish she could star in music videos that aren’t primarily about sex. However, it seems that this is her trademark now, so perhaps she can’t change it even if she wanted to.

The thing is, at least to me, that it seems like this music video is almost...meta (i.e. self-referential; made with foreknowledge of expectations about what it will be). People expect Hyuna’s music video persona to be jaw-droppingly sexy to the point where it’s almost ridiculous and obvious. And, sure, “Ice Cream” is chock-full of innuendo: the phallic ice cream cone; the “cream” itself deliberately evoking comparisons to...well, you know; Hyuna wearing a black leather top in bubble bath while the camera looks down her cleavage—you get the drill. The male gaze perspective could not be more obvious.

Hyuna  Ice Cream bubble bath scene gif

But just because a video is sexy—and very much intended to be sexy—doesn’t mean it should automatically be condemned as sexist and degrading to women. It certainly doesn’t give critics blanket permission to call Hyuna derogatory names (I won’t repeat them; I’m sure you can imagine). Women are allowed to enjoy sex and be sexually provocative if they want to. I’m not saying you can’t hate this video for other reasons, but hating it because Hyuna is “too sexy” in it is applying a double standard to music video behavior.

Here’s another reason why I think it’s unfair to condemn the video for being too sexy: in the majority of the scenes, at least to my eyes, it’s Hyuna who holds all the power. She’s the one melting you down like ice cream. She’s the one who owns the ice cream truck and bursts into places unannounced and sits on a guy’s back like he’s her personal valet.

Hyuna  Ice Cream dance move
That little smirk, omg.

And, sure, we do get the bubble bath action, but we also get this:

Hyuna  Ice Cream abs
Abs of steel! (Oh, sorry, in Kpop we call them “chocolate abs.”)

and this:

Hyuna  Ice Cream name tattooed on guy’s shoulder
Her name is tattooed on his shoulder.

Now, where I come from, if you get someone’s name tattooed on you, you’re professing your undying devotion to them, essentially announcing that you acknowledge that they own you.

And in the end of the video, it’s not Hyuna with ice cream all over her face: she’s the one spraying the guys (and girls; she’s not picky) with her ice cream.

Hyuna Ice Cream spraying guys and girls
Quite a different ending to most porn films, isn’t it?

So I think the filmmakers are aware of the expectations Hyuna’s music videos come with and they are subverting those expectations in subtle ways. Maybe not as much as some of us would like, but there are signs of baby steps forward.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Hyuna owns an ice cream truck that, like the Tardis in Doctor Who, is much bigger on the inside. Unlike the Tardis, though, it...doesn’t actually ever move. :/

One day after Psy visits (and steals ice cream), there is a massive picket line by protesters whose motives are, to say the least, incomprehensible. Hyuna commits a bit of vehicular manslaughter...

Hyuna Ice Cream clown car
That clown must’ve had it coming.

...then she offers up some ice cream! For some reason all the boys swarm towards her while the girls scowl from afar.

Hyuna Ice Cream guys

Hyuna Ice Cream girls
That girl in the middle is seriously angry at free ice cream.

Then Hyuna sprays the protesters with liquified ice cream—as a subduing measure, perhaps? But they seem to like it.

Hyuna Ice Cream sexy guys
“Please subdue us!”

Note that nowhere in the video does Hyuna actually eat any ice cream. She comes fairly close to it here:

Hyuna Ice Cream sexy
...but then ends up giving it away. :(

Also note that the fact that Hyuna freakin’ ran someone over with her truck is literally just shrugged off and never referred to again. Whoa. Cold.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
I seriously think Hyuna is one of the best dancers out there, but the dance is kind of obscured in the music video itself. I recommend watching a compilation version or a dance cover. But even then, the dance doesn’t seem that distinctive to me. There’s lots of vertical movement (i.e. standing up and squatting down again). The most distinctive part to me is when Hyuna sits on the male backup dancer’s back.

Do the members look good?
Oh, yeah. I don’t think Hyuna ever actually looks bad.

Hyuna Ice Cream gold teeth

Which member stood out the most?
The...bubble bath? I think most people are talking about the bubble bath. :)

Hyuna bubble bath

But don’t hold out hope that it will return in future music videos—apparently Hyuna had a skin reaction due to the hours she spent covered in suds. :(

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Not at first, but actually my boyfriend became kind of obsessed with it, so, yeah! I wouldn’t say it’s a high priority or anything, but I like it, the boyfriend likes it, and I already have “Change” and “Bubble Pop,” so I might as well complete the set!

Hyuna Mickey Mouse ears Ice Cream

Any ending thoughts?
Also check out 4minute’s “Love Tension” (where the ladies rock business suits) and 4minute’s new sub-unit collaboration in 2YOON (4minute’s Gayoon and Jiyoon), “24/7”; it’s so catchy.

2YOON members names
Gayoon and Jiyoon

I’m a huge 4nia, in case you couldn’t tell! :)

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“If there were an uncensored version of this song, I’m sure it would be called, ‘Guys Scream.’ Oh, Hyuna!” (Oh, God. *facepalm*)

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments below!

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