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Psy and Suga’s Collab Track ‘That That’ Celebrates a Post-Pandemic World

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Following his five-year hiatus from the spotlight, South Korean singer Psy — who went viral in 2012 with his smash hit single “Gangnam Style” — made a comeback with his latest album PSY 9th, which was released on April 29. With numerous features of beloved South Korean artists like Sung Si Kyung and Hwa Sa of MAMAMOO, fans were surprised that BTS’ Suga was also part of the line-up, let alone part of a music video with Psy. In celebration of his new album, Psy released a fun, groovy and cowboy-themed music video for his title track “That That” on April 28 — featuring Suga who also produced and co-wrote the song. 

The music video opens with a cowboy-dressed Psy who gleefully smiles after leaving a Western saloon and welcoming the warm embrace of sunlight on his face. Soon after the beat drops, Psy raps “2022 / PSY coming back / Long time no see, huh? / It’s been a minute, huh?” to not only signal his return to the music scene, but to also greet his fans after his hiatus. As dancers dressed in cowboy attire parade around him, he continues with, “We’re back to laughing, crying, living, loving / Let’s get loco / Pandemic’s over, uh / The vibes are coming, uh,” to celebrate the end of our pandemic era. 

Filled with a mix of agitation and hope, Psy raps in Korean lyrics that translate in English to “Been aching all over for / Gotta scratch that itch for / Them crowded streets/ Gotta love the hustle and bustle” that encapsulates our mixed emotions after being told we can leave our homes and enjoy the outdoors again. As a reference to his sensational song “Gangnam Style” — which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 2013 — Psy includes the lyrics, “North, south, east, west, ayy / Gangnam, Gangbuk, ayy / Everyone gather, throw your hands in the air” as if inviting all to come out and celebrate with him. Paired with an addicting and upbeat choreography that is sure to start a dance trend on TikTok, Psy sings, “Can you feel it? / Woah-yeah, woah-oh” before breaking into the chorus with “That, that, I like that / Feeling good, babe / Shake it from left to right, top to bottom / One, two, three to the four,” serenading his feel-good emotions. In a fun and quick shot, we see a familiar Psy stepping out of a blue car while donning a shiny blue tuxedo and black shades — referring to his iconic costume in “Gangnam Style.” 

Photo provided by rollingstone.com

Shortly after the chorus ends, we see Suga suddenly jump into frame with his back turned to us as the music stops, and is replaced by ominous cawing sounds from hawks and distant wind howls. After getting a clear view of his side profile, a dashing Suga dressed in a white suit with leopard print raps in Korean that translates to, “Hey, have you forgotten what I do for a living? / Like that / Unchanged, even as time goes by,” alluding to his and other BTS members’ struggles of being unable to perform on stage and tour around the world to see their fans in recent years. As the camera switches between Psy and Suga after every line, Suga continues to rap, “To everyone I longed and longed for / Everybody get ready, set, go / I’ve gotten better at taking punches, those who tried to hit me with words must feel uncomfortable / Those who prayed for me to fail as you wished / Gather them together and smack them lightly / That’s enough / Just shut up and let’s play” before ending his verse with his and Psy’s formal names “Min Yoongi and Park Jaesang.” Having been hit with criticism from haters who dislike BTS, Suga chooses to rise above the hate and come out of it stronger by refusing to have their hateful words tear him down. 

After a hilarious brief skit of Suga and “Gangnam Style” Psy getting into a slapping fight, Psy lays comically in Suga’s arms with a thin stream of fake blood running down his mouth and sings, “Can you feel it?” Meanwhile, Suga pinches the bridge of his nose in distress and responds by lip syncing to Psy’s line “Can you feel it?” Both soon break character and return back to their lively choreography to sing the chorus again, from dancing outside of a saloon at night to dancing in front of a Billboard with Psy’s face on it. In between these shots, Psy and Suga are also seen hitting the dance floor at the bar and clinking drinks together — displaying their natural chemistry and budding friendship before ending the music video by posing with a Shaka sign, which is interpreted as a symbol for “hang loose” or “right on” in Hawaiian culture.

Alongside his new album announcement on April 12, Psy loaded a video from his concert back in 2013 when he predicted that he could release his next hit song in 2022. In the clip, he says, “I know a lot of you have high expectations for my next hit song. To be honest, I produced ‘Champion’ in 2002 and it took me exactly 10 years to produce a song that is more sensational than ‘Champion’ with the release of ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012. I guess what I’m trying to say is, perhaps the next time you meet a song like ‘Gangnam Style’ will be in 2022.” It seems as though Psy’s predictions may not be too far off. 

Photo provided by pinkvilla.com

Since its release, “That That” has risen to being No. 1 in South Korea’s most popular music streaming service Melon’s Top 100 and has garnered over 97 million views with 6.2 million likes on YouTube as of this writing — well on its way of hitting another commemoratory milestone for both artists. 

However, Suga did not originally plan to be featured on the song. In an accompanying 30-second promo clip that dropped a day before the music video, he states, “To be honest, I haven’t gotten that close with anyone I collaborate with, it’s because I’m not usually the type to meet up with collaborators in person… But [Psy] wanted to see me in person.” After agreeing to be featured on the song, Suga shyly says, “I seriously didn’t expect to be dancing with Psy. Ah…I thought I was only writing the song.” In response to this change of plans, Psy says, “At the beginning, we met because he wanted to produce my music. Then he ended up featuring on the track. Then he ended up learning the intense choreography. Then he ended up starring in the music video. Step by step, he got involved more and more deeply.” Perhaps it was an act of fate that brought these two talented artists together, because “That That” would not have been the same exciting, funky song it is without each other.

“That That” will live on to be known as one of the most iconic collaborations in the history of the K-Pop industry because of its memorable moment of second generation K-Pop (Psy) meeting third generation K-Pop (Suga). Especially since both acts have dominated world charts with their iconic bops and cemented their reputation as global stars, it is truly a momentous occasion to witness them coming together and producing something legendary for the world to listen and enjoy for future generations to come.

Annabella Johan is an Entertainment Staff Writer. She can be reached at ajohan@uci.edu.